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Hey there Ghosties, it's us, ya boys!

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👻 🕷📷🦇 👻

Begin the adventure...

 

 

“Nope! I’m out!”

“Sweetie- My love-”

“Nope, nope, nope!

 

Okay, so. Yes, the Tadpoles were focused on their Mario Kart race. They were in the middle of it, and they weren’t half-bad, but they still needed a ton of practice if they planned to manage to beat Louis and Nursey during next week’s Haus Big Tournament (Bring Beer). But.

Ollie and Wicks were arguing, loud enough so the entire Haus could hear it, and Wicks used the cutesy pet names.

So. That was bad enough that Whiskey shared a look with Ford and Tango, who nodded, and pressed pause. Not so that they could eavesdrop and know what the tea is while it’s still hot, but like… Just in case they were needed for like. Support. For their friends. Because they were good people like that.

Two seconds later, Wicks had run down the stairs and Ollie had managed to catch him in the entrance hallway, grabbing his wrist.

Both were half-naked, and dishevelled. Ok, this tea was going to be scalding.

 

“Ollie, I know there was something.”

“Schmoopy, that was nothing- Maybe something that fell from the ceiling, or-”

“Ollie, I do not care. I’m never going back to that fucking attic.”

 

And on this, Wicks pulled back his wrist, and made his way to the kitchen, leaving a contemplative Ollie in the hallway.

 

“Shit…”

 

Tango: What is happening?
Whiskey: Sounds like a you problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What’s wrong?” Tango said, in Ollie’s general direction.

 

Ollie turned towards them, and entered the living-room, visibly upset and ready to take it out on the first person saying the wrong thing to him.

 

“Ain’t y’all too busy playin’ Mario Kart, kiddos?” he snickered.

“Wow. I wish I had it in me to be half as rude as you,” Ford whispered.

“Are we gonna mention ‘Schmoopy’, or?” Whiskey asked, to no one in particular.

“I mean,” Tango told Ollie, with this tone that only Tango could have, “We’re teammates, friends, and curious, so if we can help we’ll gladly do so.”

 

Ollie walked up to them, and flopped on the couch, completely defeated.

 

“Okay, so, here the thing. Pacer is convinced that the attic is haunted and that one of the ghosts grabbed his ass while we were fucking.”

“That a what did what?” Ford repeated.

 

He shrugged, blasé.

 

“I know! I mean, of course the attic is haunted, that’s no news. I just keep saying to Pacer that no, there’s no way there’s ghosts in there because I know he’s terrified of them… But now, if they start grabbing his ass? I can’t keep denying it.”

“Ghosts don’t exist though-” Ford began.

“You know you’re haunted and you still have sex here?” Tango yelped, cutting her off.

“I am horny, Tangredi.”

“That is a valid explanation.”

 

Ollie sighed, and he closed his eyes, totally at sea. He definitely was too tired for this shit. He had some serious eye luggage to prove it.

 

“Anyway, now Wicky will never want to go back to the attic. As long as he wasn’t sure they existed, it was okay, but now? Fuck.”

“What can you do?” Whiskey asked.

“Well, besides finding a way to convince ghosts to stop watching us hooking up and to not touch the sweet perky ass of my boyfriend -and, hear me, I get it, I have a hard time not touching it myself? I guess I can begin to look for apartments on campus for us because he sure as hell won’t agree to stay here.”

But ghosts don’t exist-”

 

Whiskey: Wow sounds bad.
Tango: Let us give a hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good luck with that bro,” Whiskey said, shrugging.

 

Tango seemed offended at that.

 

“But-”

“Not our business to stick our noses in,” Whiskey cut him off, with a no-nonsense-allowed tone. “Okay, guys, we need to master the Rainbow road by next week.”

“Bro we can’t, Foxtrot is that bad-

“Hey!”

 

As they resumed the game, Ollie was making his way to the kitchen, with a soft voice full of apologies and ‘please sweetie’ and ‘I’m sure it was nothing ghosts don’t exist’.

Visibly it didn’t work, because a few seconds later, they heard Wicks, with a thundering shout like they never heard from nice, polite, smiling Wicks before:

 

“I am never going back there, Oliver! I’m expecting all of my stuff on the porch by this evening, and I’m spending the night at Tom’s in the Alpha Upsilon house – you can come or not I do not care!”

 

And then, he slammed the front door, so hard that the walls of the living room began to tremble.

The Tadpoles were dead silent, just looking at each other.

 

Oopsies.

 

This is the Ending A. Good luck to find a better one! Remember, both Sailor Moon and Naruto taught us that our friends are our strength.

Back to the start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We can help!” Tango grinned.

“No, we can’t,” Whiskey said back.

“Of course we can, we are nice people, Connor,” Ford cut him off.

How?” Ollie asked.

 

Tango nodded, and, dead serious, he explained:

 

“We could hunt the ghost.”

 

Ford was quite taken aback.

 

“Er. Actually, I was thinking more about something among the lines of ‘we help them talking it out and realise that it couldn’t be a ghost because ghosts don’t exist-” Ford began.

 

The three guys looked at her, not impressed.

 

“Ghosts do exist, though,” Whiskey said.

“They hella do,” Ollie added.

“Guys? Are you for real? Ghosts?”

 

But the three were already ignoring the obviously delirious lady. Ollie was already calling Wicks over; he came, reluctantly, with still some fire in his eyes, and stayed at the edge of the room.

 

“Babe, listen to this bomb-ass plan,” Ollie said, with a tone that he hope was reassuring. And then, quieter, to Tango: “Er, dude, what’s the plan?”

“We’re gonna hunt the ghost,” Tango nodded, serious.

You’re gonna do it,” Whiskey corrected. “I never agreed and Ford is clearly delusional about the whole situation.”

“If you do it, I’ll definitely remember it by dibs season,” Ollie tried.

“We’re gonna hunt the ghost,” Whiskey nodded, serious.

 

Wicks’ closed off body language seemed to relax, a little. But he made no sign of being willing to talk, or to come any closer to them. Small victories.

 

“No more ghost means that you can go back to our room,” Ollie said. “Everyone is happy!”

 

But Wicks was deadass ignoring him.

 

“What tells me that you can hunt ghosts?” Wicks asked the Tadpoles.

“Me! I’m telling you,” Tango said.

 

That didn’t seem to convince Wicks. Nor Ollie, for that matter. Ford looked at all the guys around her. She sighed deeply, and she shrugged, as she explained:

 

“The three of us are Catholic so we have special exorcism powers.”

“That- that sounds actually quite fair,” Wicks conceded, and Ollie nodded at that.

“So we let them do their thing, Snookums? And you’ll come back to the attic with me?” Ollie tried, with puppy eyes that just made any remnant bad boy vibes he had burn to oblivion in Ford’s eyes.

“Maybe. But, Oliver, you’re sleeping on the couch tonight.”

 

A muffled ‘No one is sleeping on that infamy!’ came from the depths of the kitchen, just as Wicks took off, already asking Bitty to share his bed with him tonight. Ollie was quick to follow, leaving the tadpoles alone. The boys were both raising eyebrows at Ford, before Tango asked:

 

“So ghosts don’t exist but now catholics have exorcist superpowers?”

“Guys. I will have those dibs. And if I need to lie or to kill to get them? I will.”

 

They still finished their Mario Kart Tournament before settling down on the couch, and decide that, maybe, they should begin to actually plan something if they want those dibs.

 

Ford: Let’s just be done with this.
Tango: Let’s ask Bitty for some help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We just need to… Spend the night there and observe the lack of ghosts, because of their non-existence, and then tell Wicks that our Catholic presence drove them away.”

“Us being Catholic is really enough to scare off ghosts?” Tango wondered.

“No, it’s not,” Whiskey replied.

“Yes, it is, because, you know, there is no such thing as ghosts.”

 

Tango crossed his arms at that. Ford didn’t like it very much, when he had this face on; the face he made when he was about to ask a question you really didn’t want to have to be the one to reply to yourself.

 

If something doesn’t exist to begin with, can you really consider that you can make it disappear?”

“Tango. Shh,” Whiskey said.

“But-”

“Shh.”

“Whi-”

Shhh.

 

That was an easy plan; just show up, spend the night, state that there are no ghosts because welp, there are no ghosts, profit. Ford’s roommate would probably be happy to have their room all for herself tonight, and Ford would get some nice Bro Points to get dibs for next year. What could go wrong?

 

After team dinner and a movie in the living-room, the three Tadpoles made their way to the attic to begin their professional career as Ghostbusters. Wicks was rooming with Bitty for the night, and Ollie got Dex’ former bed in Nursey’s room. Wicks still refused to talk to his boyfriend for more than ten seconds.

Seriously, if they were angry at each other? If they broke up? That would put a dampener on the morale of the whole damn team. The Tadpoles needed to save the day, preferably, quickly.

 

Camping in the attic, waiting for ghosts, was more boring than expected. They had their phones to keep themselves busy, aaaand… And that’s a good start. Neither of them wanted to take too much of a close look around the room - Ollie and Wicks had left the room in the middle of sex, it was probably better for everyone that they don’t look, so they sat on the floor-

 

And they waited.

 

And they began to talk about movies. And Tango’s cellphone died. And Ford and he began to talk about classes. And sharing high school anecdotes. And Whiskey began to doze off on Ford’s shoulder.

 

And they woke up at seven because they had sunlight straight on their faces.

 

“Oopsies,” Ford managed to say, still half-asleep.

 

No need to say, when they went to the kitchen to get breakfast, Ollie and Wicks, who were waiting for them at the kitchen table, weren’t that impressed by their total lack of results.

 

“See, Wicky,” Ollie tried to spin, with a tired look on the face; “That means that ghosts don’t exist.”

“That just fucking means they weren’t out yesterday. I’m never going back in this attic. In this entire Haus.

“Babe-”

“I’m getting an apartment off-campus. Adios.”

 

Wicks got up and slammed the door on his way out, Ollie running after him to try to talk some sense into him.

 

The three of them were looking at the scene, definitely not comfortable.

 

“I think we fucked up,” Tango said.

“No, really?”

“Boys, stop. That’s not helping.”

“Well, visibly,” Tango bitterly uttered, “neither are we.”

 

You've just found the Ending B! Sleeping sucks, doesn't it? Like it's super important to grow up and do things but still

Back to the start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m just saying,” Tango began, “Bitty has cameras and mics and stuff like that – and because we’re so cute, we can maybe convince him to lend them to us-”

“-So we can record the ghosts,” Whiskey finished, pensive.

“So we can record the ghosts! How cool is that?”

“There won’t be anything to record, you know that, guys?” Ford asked, knowing very well she wouldn’t be listened to.

 

But Tango was already bouncing to the kitchen, grinning like a child in Disneyworld.

Bitty was there, working on his laptop with a thousand and one textbooks around him. Knowing his work ethic, he probably had a fifteen-page essay due the following morning. Tango could see Ollie and Wicks through the window, sitting on the porch in total silence (even if seemingly a bit calmer now).

Bitty raised his head when he heard Tango rushing in, Whiskey and Ford right behind, and he frowned immediately.

 

“No, I do not have any pie or cookies for y’all. They’re for my captains reunion.”

“It’s not that!”

 

That seemed to surprise Bitty a little.

 

“Then, what? I’m telling you right now, I have a metric ton of homework to do if I want to go to Providence this weekend - and I want to.”

“Bitty, we need your camera. And your mic.”

“Lol nope.”

 

The answer was short, quick, and to the point.

But Tango didn’t care for answers that were short, quick, and to the point.

 

“Buuuuuuuuut-”

“Anthony, it’s not this kind of argument that would convince me to change my mind…”

“Tony. It’s just Tony, really,” Tango mumbled.

 

Whiskey decided then to step up. He cleared his throat and asked:

 

“Bitty, could you please lend us your recording gear tonight?”

“I perfectly understood the first time, Connor,” Bitty replied. “But if you honestly think I’m letting my GH4 get into Tango’s hands, then you obviously don’t know enough about cameras to use this one.”

“That is not very nice,” Tango said.

“I never said I was,” Bitty replied, going back to his econ exercises.

“Yes you did! It’s the first thing you said! ‘Hi I’m Bitty and I’m nice!’”

“I lied.”

 

Whiskey turned towards Ford, the voice of reason and the only one who could get through their Captain’s thick head. She rolled her eyes at him, but she still tried too.

 

“Bitty, I know how to operate a camera. What if I promise you that only I will even touch it?”

 

He looked up, but didn’t move.

 

“And you will let me do my homework?”

“Yes, we will, because I’ll be too busy making sure none of their heathen hands touch your stuff.”

“Why do you even need it?” Bitty asked, sitting more comfortably in the chair to look straight at them.

“We’re hunting ghosts!”

 

Bitty wasn’t impressed.

 

“That’s ridiculous-”

“I know, right?” Ford snickered. “Because ghosts don’t exist-

“-that’s really forces and energies you don’t want to mess with. You’re just gonna upset them. Living with ghosts, okay, but I draw the line at angry ghosts. We already have an angry programming student in the basement. I can hear hellish cries from there at night.”

“What,” Ford asked, awkwardly smiling.

“But we’re adorable!” Tango pleaded. “We won’t get them angry! We just want to talk! Please, Bitty!” .

 

Bitty finally sighed.

 

“Take the freaking camera. It’s on my desk in my room. And let me work. I don’t wanna hear y’all.”

 

Whiskey: … That’s all?
Ford: Thanks for your help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Great! Thanks, Eric!” Ford beamed.

“I don’t know her. Let me do my stats homework.”

“That’s econ, though.”

“I haven’t slept in three days, Tango.”

 

The three Tadpoles quickly left the kitchen, high-fiving on the way. A smoothly handled job.

 

After team dinner and a movie in the living-room, the three Tadpoles made their way to the attic to begin their professional career as Ghostbusters. Ollie was rooming with Bitty for the night, and Wicks on Dex’ former bed in Nursey’s room. Ollie still refused to talk to his boyfriend for more than ten seconds.

Seriously, if they were angry at each other? If they broke up? That would put a damp on the morale of the whole damn team. The Tadpoles needed to save the day, preferably, quick.

 

In the attic, Ford set up the camera and plugged it into the laptop to save the rushes directly there, while the boys were looking for the best place to put the mic without snooping around the room. Room that was in an interesting state considering that it had been deserted mid-sex.

 

“Do they really use hot-and-cold lube?” Tango asked, looking at the bottle that was on the sheets. “That must be the worst thing in existence. You haven’t suffered until-”

“Tango, please stop.”

 

Quickly, everything was put in place.

 

“Now, what?” Whiskey asked, once they checked that the mic was recording correctly.

“Now we wait.”

“It’s twenty past ten.”

“We wait a lot.”

 

They sat against the wall, and they began to talk about movies. And Tango’s cellphone died. And Ford and he began to talk about classes. And sharing high school anecdotes. And Whiskey began to doze off on Ford’s shoulder.

 

And they woke up at seven because they had sunlight straight on their faces.

 

“Oopsies,” Ford managed to say, still half-asleep.

“Did we fall asleep?” Whiskey asked, his eyes still closed and curled up against Ford.

“We did.”

 

As Whiskey and Ford were slowly emerging, Tango was already up and spry like the young fawn he was, and hopping to the desk where the laptop was, to go through the rushes.

Seriously this boy was way too energetic twelve mere seconds after waking up.

 

Rubbing his eyes, Whiskey got up to join him while Ford slowly made her way to the camera to unplug it. And that’s when she heard it.

 

“Holy macaroni!”

“Oh fu-”

 

Whiskey was about to fucking swear. What the hell was on this goddamn screen.

Ford rushed to the screen, to see the video that was playing-

 

Showing all the objects of the bedroom levitating and flying around. The tadpoles were almost off-screen considering where they fell asleep, sitting against the wall - only Tango’s arm could be seen - but it was clear that most of the flying objects were hurled towards them, even if the aim was terrible and most of the objects were dirty clothes.

 

And yes, with this new information, Ford could see that the lube bottle, along with a dozen pieces of clothing were now on the floor, at the other side of the room.

 

“What the hell.”

“What the heck.”

“What the fuck.”

 

Ford sat on the desk chair. Whiskey calmly lowered to the ground to lie here and compose himself some. And Tango stayed standing, both hands on his head and his mouth wide open.

 

“Ghosts exist.”

“Ghosts exist.”

“Ghosts exist.”

“Ghosts exist, and we freaking missed them!”

 

Ford: We did what we could.
Tango: Let’s try again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I. Well. It’s not like we can do much,” Ford said, holding her head in disbelief and terror. “We need to call an exorcist. “So I propose that, slowly, non-threateningly, we leave this attic. Because we are nice people not here to cause trouble.”

Discreetly,” Whiskey added.

 

Ford and he took the camera and the laptop, while Tango gathered the mics, and, with every movement calculated to not make any noise, the three of them walked down the stairs and left the attic – and, the second the attic door was closed, they ran downstairs (if they were screaming in fear there was no proof because the mics were turned off now).

When they reached the kitchen, Ollie and Wicks were both waiting here, drinking coffee at the table.

No need to say that seeing the so-called Catholic Exorcists rushing in shrieking didn’t reassure them at all.

 

While Tango and Ford were trying to catch their breath, Whiskey just shoved the laptop in Ollie’s arms. Slowly, excruciatingly slowly, he opened it, to see that the video software was up - and he just had to press the space bar to play the video, and see the absolute mayhem that happened while the Tadpoles were still sleeping.

 

“What the fuck-” Wicks slurred, his eyes glued on the screen.

“What the fuck.

“I’m out,” Whiskey said. “Get an exorcist, burn down the place, I don’t care, but I’m out and I’m never setting a foot in the attic ever again.”

“Neither will I! Ollie - I fucking told you - I told you that ghosts existed, and those ghosts? They’re up to no good! That’s it - I’m getting an apartment off campus with or witho-”

With me bro. I’m never going back there either,” Ollie said, terrified. “What the hell.”

“You’re the one who wanted us to prove if ghosts existed!” Ford yelped. “You believed in them and you didn’t care!”

“Yep and thanks for proving to me that believing that ghosts exist and knowing that ghosts exist is definitely not the same. No excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom before I pee my pants because we’ve been goddamn haunted for months now.”

 

The video made its way on the group chat in the afternoon. By the evening, Ollie and Wicks were moved out, and the attic was totally condemned. And Ford was the one who had the honour to write behind the hot water tank the new bylaw;

 

Do not go to the attic you’RE GONNA GET THEM ANGRY

 

And this, my friends, is the Ending C. It's not really a good ending, but you can try again if you want.


Back to the start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Okay. Okay, okay,” Tango tried to rationalise. “Ghosts exist and we missed them. We could… Come back tonight and make sure we don’t fall asleep.”

“Are you kidding?” Ford shrieked. “They threw stuff at us! They obviously don’t want to talk with us!”

“Maybe they just wanted to wake us up to chat! They’re maybe nice!”

Nice? They attacked us, Tango!”

 

Whiskey, who hadn’t talked much, sat up and put both hands in front of his mouth, pensive.

 

“Well. They threw socks and shirts at us. If they really wanted to attack us, there’s a freaking chandelier up there.”

“See? I say we try again! If we stay awake, we can run away if things go bad.”

“We’re gonna get killed, Tony.”

“We’re college students. We’re like roaches, and nothing from expired food to alcohol-related injuries can kill us.”

“That is a sound argument,” Whiskey tried.

 

Ford just frowned at them both, but she gave in.

Ollie and Wicks were a bit suspicious of their need for another night, and Bitty refused to let them use his mics and camera again - he was leaving for Providence and needed them to vlog, but the following night, the three Tadpoles were up and ready to meet the ghosts. And throw punches if needed.

 

It was only after three hours of total silence that they saw something move, from the corner of their eye.

 

“Show yourself!” Tango shouted. “We know you’re here!”

“Like we can’t, just, ‘show ourselves’. Takes time and energy, ya know. And your light hurts.”

 

The voice - a feminine voice, quite young and quiet - came from near the window. Tango turned off the flashlight he had, and Ford grabbed it right away, absolutely terrified.

It was dark and silent in the room for a few seconds, until, slowly, two white forms began to appear a few feet above the ground.

Whiskey may have played the strong guy this morning, but he wasn’t much calmer than Ford. He wasn’t like Tango. He feared death.

And there was a world between believing, theoretically, in the existence of ghosts and meeting two of them in a dark attic at night. A world that Whiskey was actually not that eager to travel right now.

 

“Sw'awesome,” Tango let escape, aghast.

“Why did I accept to come why did I accept to come why did I-” Ford was chanting, her hands clenching on the flashlight.

 

Both forms quickly took human forms, those of two young women, and Whiskey regretted coming too.

 

“Hello! I’m Tony!”

“Hi Tony!” one of the ghosts said (because!!! There was a ghost!!!) “That’s a nice name.”

“Thanks, I chose it myself.”

“My name is Jenny, and this is Mandy,” the first ghost said. “We died there.”

“How did you die?” Tango asked, and both ghosts were wide-eyed at that.

 

Whiskey elbowed him, hard.

 

“Tango, you can’t ask ghosts how they died.”

“But-”

“That was mega-rude,” Mandy said.

“Totally not rad,” Jenny added. “We’re nice ghosts, polite and just asking for some attention, you can’t come and just ask us how we died.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know you’re the first ghosts I met-”

“No!” Ford claimed, suddenly snapping out of her terror. “Miss and Miss ghost, you’re going to listen to me!”

 

She had her manager voice on. Both Tango and Whiskey looked down, right away.

 

“You’re not that nice and polite! You’re going to apologise to Wicks! You grabbed his ass? What’s wrong with you?”

“But I was bored,” Jenny said. “And they never noticed us before, so-”

“That’s not a reason! You don’t grab people’s asses, ghost or not! And you’re going to leave them alone!”

“But we’re so booooored! No one ever notices us! We didn’t even manage to wake y’all up yesterday! That’s how little people give a shit.”

“Do I care? Oh, no. I don’t. Apologise and leave them alone.”

“Okay, I’ll apologise,” Jenny complied. “But we’re still bored. We have nothing to do and no one who notices us.”

“We did,” Tango said.

“But you don’t live here? It’s not like you could hang out with us every day. We want to be around people.”

 

Finally, they agreed on a plan. The ghosts would leave the attic alone on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the Tadpoles would come over twice a week to watch movies with Mandy and Jenny. Oh, and they wouldn’t tell anyone but Ollie and Wicks about them, because they wanted to see people yes, but they didn’t want to become attractions.

They called Ollie, and he brought Wicks on his way to the attic where the ghosts introduced themselves and apologised. And promised to stop haunting them somedays, but boy, the attic was comfy and there was a chandelier.

Wicks was not impressed and may or may not have begun to rip Jenny a new one while the Tadpoles left the attic to look for beds to crash in till morning.

 

When Ford and Whiskey finally emerged in the morning and had grabbed coffee mugs in the kitchen, Tango was already up and bright, lounging on the couch, his laptop on his belly.

 

“Hi guys!”

“Get your legs off there, I wanna sit,” Whiskey said.

 

Tango just raised his legs high enough for Whiskey and Ford to sit on the couch, before unceremoniously setting them on their laps. Whiskey groaned.

 

“How can you be so tired in the morning? You just slept seven hours,” Tango asked.

“Oh, you know. My mom didn’t feed me batteries when I was a kid.”

“Of course not, you would be dead?”

“Guys, shut up. I didn’t sleep,” Ford cut them off.

 

Tango raised his eyes from the laptop.

 

“Why?”

“Because I’m disappointed? We only freed the guys three nights a week. We could have done better.”

“Maybe. But the girls were quite angry at us for ignoring them yesterday,” Whiskey shrugged.

 

Tango looked back to the laptop, before turning it around to show the screen to his friends.

It was open on some video editing software.

 

“I’m editing the rushes of the first night. We can’t see anything, but maybe we could make a Youtube video out of it;” Tango said.

“Why would we do that?” Whiskey asked.

“Why not? It’s the best way to compile all our ghost hunting adventures.”

“Our what now?”

“Ghost hunting adventures! It was fun, wasn’t it? We should continue, and we could make some money out of it on YouTube!”

Whiskey: I have better things to do, such as, not that.
Ford: That sounds like a terrible idea. I’m in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Er…” Whiskey began. “That’s all?”

 

Bitty raised both eyebrows at that.

 

“You kidding, right?”

“Well, you know- Pies.”

“Oh fu- Damn. That’s all I am? A walking oven for y’all? I’m stressed enough already right now-”

“Sorry, it’s just that-”

“Just take the cookies and the pies in the fridge and leave me alone I’m behind with my homework enough as it is.”

“There’s only one pie in the fridge, though,” Tango said, with the tin already in his arms.

“Only o- Get out.”

 

The three tadpoles scrambled out of the kitchen at once, the cookie jar and the pie tin under their arms.

 

After team dinner and a movie in the living-room, the three Tadpoles made their way to the attic to begin their professional career as Ghostbusters. Ollie was rooming with Bitty for the night, and Wicks on Dex’ former bed in Nursey’s room. Ollie still refused to talk to his boyfriend for more than ten seconds.

Seriously, if they were angry at each other? If they broke up? That would put a damp on the morale of the whole damn team. The Tadpoles needed to save the day, preferably, quick.

In the attic, Ford set up the camera and plugged it in the laptop to save the rushes directly here, while the boys were looking for the best place to put the mic without snooping around the room, that was in an interesting state considering that it had been deserted mid-sex.

 

“I got some pie on the mic,” Tango whined, his hands and his mouth full of cherry pie.

“You better clean it or Bitty will end us,” Whiskey said, matter-of-factly. “I have no idea what kind of twist he has in his panties lately but he’s really going to end up maiming one of us.”

 

Ford turned away from the laptop to frown at Whiskey. He winced and looked away, but still asked:

 

“What? It’s true.”

“He’s a senior, has a thesis to write, familial issues and a team to lead. A team that considers him more like a mother than their captain. I’d get frustrated too.”

“Issues or not, that’s not a reason to be snappy at us.”

“It is not indeed, and I’ll talk to him about it, but Connor, you are the last person on this team who can criticise someone for being snappy,” she said, sternly, and Whiskey knew he had to find something to reply, quick.

“I-”

“Hey, guys,” Tango cut them off, showing something that he had found while setting his mic and that he was now holding in his hand, “Coffee. They’re making coffee flavoured condoms. And Ollie and Wicks are using Coffee Flavoured Condoms.”

 

Thanks God for small distractions. Whiskey sighed, while Ford began to tell Tango off for snooping around.

 

Half an hour later, the three of them were sitting in the middle of the room, sharing what was left of the cookies.

Eating that much sugar was probably a terrible idea, because if Ford and Whiskey were keyed up now, Tango was keyed up.

Like, Tango was hyper all day long. But now? He couldn’t sit still and was basically rolling around the whole room while. He couldn’t stop. Talking.  

Asking what to do when the ghosts show up. Asking about aliens. Asking Ford if she liked her job as a manager and “is that a good situation, that, manager?”. Asking who the hell stole the second pie. Asking why the sky is blue and why eyes are wet and what was their opinion on Malatesta’s take on free love and the others tuned out about then. They had hung on that long, and that was a testimony on how much they were used to him by now.

 

“I’m just saying - all I asked the librarian was where I could find more books regarding the Spartacus League - because yes, of course, I’ve read Luxemburg and Zetkin, but-”

“Tango, you are saying words but I cannot process them,” Whiskey said.

“I mean, that’s pretty interesting.”

“It is not, Ford,” Whiskey sighed, looking up at her – but Ford was livid.

 

And looking behind him.

Whiskey didn’t even want to try to turn around to see what was there.

He was now around 70% sure that it wasn’t Ford who had spoken.

 

“There’s two ghosts here,” Ford managed to mutter, terrorized.

“Wow. ‘Swawesome,” Tango let slip.

 

Whiskey -slowly, very slowly- turned around, to see, behind him, two young women. Who were floating. And translucent.

 

“Hey hi there!” one of the ghosts (because!! There was!! A GHOST) babbled. “We’ve been trying to catch your attention for a while - we were about to try to throw stuff at you.”

“There’s two ghosts in here,” Ford repeated.

“Of course there are ghosts here, Ford; Ollie and Wicks did tell us they were haunted.”

“There are ghosts. Two? They are here. Because they exist.”

 

The ghosts seemed not surprised by this reaction, and they instead focused on Tango.

 

“Can you continue what you were saying about the Spartacus League? I was a pol sci major,” the first ghost said.

“O-okay,” Tango replied. “Uh, what’s your name?”

“Mandy. And this is Jenny,” the first ghost said. “We died there.”

“How did you die?” Tango asked, and both ghosts were wide-eyed at that.

 

Whiskey elbowed him, hard.

 

“Tango, you can’t ask ghosts how they died.”

“But-”

“That was mega-rude,” Mandy said.

“Totally not rad,” Jenny added. “We’re nice ghosts, polite and just asking for some attention, you can’t come and just ask us how we died.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know, you’re the first ghosts I've met-”

“No!” Ford claimed, getting up. “Miss and Miss Ghost, you’re going to listen to me!”

 

She had her manager voice on. Both Tango and Whiskey looked down, right away.

 

“You’re not that nice and polite! You’re going to apologise to Wicks! You grabbed his ass? What’s wrong with you?”

“But I was bored,” Jenny said. “And they never noticed us before, so-”

“That’s not a reason! You don’t grab people’s asses, ghost or not! And you’re going to leave them alone!”

“But we’re so booooored! And we can’t really leave the attic since there’s this creepy thing in the basement!”

“Do I care? Oh, no. I don’t. Apologise and leave them alone.”

“Okay, I’ll apologise,” Jenny complied. “But we’re still bored. We have nothing to do and no one who notices us.”

“We did,” Tango said.

“But you don’t live here? It’s not like you could hang out with us every day.”

 

Finally, they agreed on a plan. The ghosts would leave the attic when both Ollie and Wicks were there, and the Tadpoles would come over twice a week to watch movies with Mandy and Jenny and they’ll read Harry Potter to them. Because they were dead before they got to read Harry Potter. Oh, and they wouldn’t tell anyone but Ollie and Wicks about them, because they wanted to see people yes, but they didn’t want to become attractions.

They called Ollie, and he brought Wicks on his way to the attic where the ghosts introduced themselves and apologised. And promised to stop haunting them, but boy, the attic was comfy and there was a chandelier.

Wicks was not impressed and may or may not have begun to rip Jenny a new one while the Tadpoles left the attic to look for beds to crash in till morning.

 

Tango was already in the kitchen in the morning when Whiskey and Ford made their way downstairs, and he was on the laptop, watching the rushes of their night of ghost hunting.

The angle wasn’t great. The ghosts were totally off-screen, and the mics “strategically set” had been put in places so weird that there was barely any sound.

The fact that there was absolutely no proof of the existence of ghosts didn’t seem to undermine Tango in the least.

 

“We could make a video out of this! Edit it and all!” Tango proposed. “And then, we could make a YouTube channel of us hunting ghosts. And get some YouTube money-”

“That’s very capitalist of you,” Whiskey replied.

“-and with the money we can go to Mexico to look for Trotski’s ghost.”

“Tango no.”

“Foxtrot, sometimes to get rid of the system you have to play right in the system.”

 

Whiskey: We are NOT doing that
Ford: Ford: We are SO doing that. But not the Trotski part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Lol nope,” Whiskey said.

“But-”

“Nope. YouTube money or not, I don’t care, I’m not hunting ghosts on YouTube. I did this to help out teammates, I now have the knowledge that ghosts do exist, that’s enough for me. No more supernatural experiences until the end of my life.”

“But!”

Nope.

 

That was final. Whiskey had ambitions. NHL-sized ambitions. He wouldn’t let a YouTube channel of him running after ghosts get in their way.

No, they did what they could and helped Wicks and Ollie as much as possible, and they met two ghosts who were pretty chill, and that was it. That was enough stories to tell his future grandkids. No need for more.

 

“Buut-”

“Tango no.”

 

And this is the Ending D! Sometimes Whiskey is too serious... Don't you think?

Back to the start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Yes, okay, let’s do that,” Ford sighed.

“What?” Whiskey asked, incredulous. “Ford, you didn’t even believe that ghosts exist.”

“Yeah and I’ve been proved wrong. So now let’s try to film actual proof to show everyone,” she shrugged. “Also once I wasn’t so scared anymore it was quite fun.”

“Fox, you went from terrified to combat mode in two seconds.”

“I know what I said.”

 

The first video was edited (even if you could barely see anything on it, and not hear a word), posted on a brand new YouTube channel named “Ghost Hunters WTF” because they had no imagination and would change it once they had a better idea, and, in ten days, they gathered seventy views, three thumbs up and ten thumbs down, and four subscribers.

TFW its fries days @the dinnerhall

Foxtrot
>> Guys I have A Plan

Tango
> cool what 4

Foxtrot
>> The YT channel.
>> I know where to find a new ghost

Whiskey
> uuuh we haven’t dropped the yt channel yet?
> it doesn’t work we have one comment and its telling us to eat shit

Foxtrot
>> Well our video wasn’t THAT great. It was even awful
>> But I know how to get some popularity!
>> Now that we know that we’ll film for an audience, it will be better

Tango
> just tell us where and when

Foxtrot
>> Founders 📚

Tango
> OH GOD ALEX JOHNSON GHOST
> THE GUY WHO’D DIED NEAR THE DICTIONARIES AND THE COMPARATIVE LINGUISTIC BOOKS 100 YEARS AGO

Foxtrot
>> Yep! Tonight

 

Tango
> lol no

Whiskey
> yo bill murray how is that you don’t wanna bust ghosts

Tango
> I’ve got a date 😍

Whiskey
> As if

Tango
> we can’t all have disastrous love lives 🙄

Whiskey
> that was uncalled for

Foxtrot
>> Mega-rude for that you’re bringing snacks and you’re convincing Bitty to lend us his camera
>> Founders closes at 11, let’s meet at 10:30 and hide in the bathroom until they close
>> It can only be tonight my friend work there and she told me the security cameras on the second floor are down -and that’s precisely where the ghost of Alex Johnson is supposed to be.

Tango
> but my date…….

Whiskey
> You’ve got a date with Alex Johnson now

Tango
> ok ok im rainchecking it 😤
> yall owe me one

Whiskey
> and you owe me 20 bucks but you don’t see me crying

 

At a quarter past eleven, the three Tadpoles quietly made their way out of Founders’ bathrooms, armed with a flashlight, two mics, Bitty’s old camera that he found in the back of his closet, a lot of courage and sunflower seeds.

 

“Seriously? Seeds? What kind of snack is that, Tony? It’s just salt,” Whiskey complained.

“My roommate ate all the chips.”

“You’ve got a solo room. You’re your own roommate.”

“I can’t believe how much of a dick my roommate is. How dare he steal my food like that.”

 

As long as they stayed on the second floor, they shouldn’t be caught. Still; there was something vaguely creepy, highly stressing, about walking around the dark, empty library in the middle of the night. Especially between the dictionaries and the comparative linguistic aisles. The books were huge, and scary.

 

“Ghosts… Ghosty-ghosts… We know you’re here,” Tango shushed, shaking the salty sunflower seeds bag.

“There’s only one ghost and it’s Alex Johnson,” Ford shushed back.

“Foxtrot, in this library I’ve witnessed the soul of so many students leaving their bodies, turning them into empty shells. There must be a thousand ghosts.”

 

Still, that wasn’t really fruitful. No weird noises, no stuff moving around, no literal ghosts appearing like in the attic of the Haus. Just three idiots, waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Disappointing.

 

“I missed a date for nothing,” Tango complained.

“I can’t believe you manage to have more dates than the two of us combined,” Ford sighed.

“I’m sure that Whiskey had plenty of dates with his lacrosse guy when they were still together.”

“I had a grand total of zero dates with him for the five weeks we ‘were together’. So.”

“Who was the date even with?” Ford asked, deflecting the conversation towards less controversial topics.

“Anna from the track team. You see the track team? She’s the tallest.”

How surprising,” Whiskey snickered.

 

Tango frowned at that.

 

“Hey! What does that mean?”

“I mean that you have a type, and your type is ‘girl so tall she can walk on you.’”

“It’s my type too,” Ford chimed in.

“But Ford, you’re four feet tall with your arms raised. Any girl fits that.”

“Hey!”

 

There was some noise from the staircase that echoed in the whole floor.

It wasn’t midnight yet. There was probably a late worker still here – and here they were, making noise and laughing like kids.

They looked at each other, terrified, and sat in silence, hoping to not be found.

The wait began to make them hyperaware. Even Tango didn’t dare to move a muscle, and Ford was slowly, but surely, beginning to regret suggesting this plan. If they were caught in the closed library at night? They were dead.

But there was only silence surrounding them. The steps from the staircase had faded away, a few floors down.

 

Ford: Guys, I really begin to worry.
Tango: It’s the story of an American, an Australian and a Canadian entering a bar…
Whiskey: Can we agree to not talk about disastrous love lives tonight?
Stay silent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m not feeling it, guys.”

 

Ford broke the silence, shushing. Tango, who was sitting right next to her, put his flashlight on the floor to hold her closer to him. Whiskey, across from them, stayed put.

 

“It’ll be alright, Ford,” Tango reassured her. “No one will come here. We won’t get caught.”

“That was a stupid idea to come here.”

“Hey, Fox,” Whiskey said, his voice low. “You were the one who thought it was important to prove to the world that ghosts exist, right? We can do exactly that. And we’re not risking anything. If the security cameras had been magically fixed since this afternoon, someone would have seen us and come to us already. But they’re not. So as long as we stay around here, we don’t risk anything, and we will have a great story to tell everyone - we broke into Founders at night to hunt ghosts, how cool is that? No one can tell we’re boring after a stunt like that, even if we can’t find anything.”

“Still. This was a terrible idea. Who breaks into libraries at night? Bitty will end us.”

“Who cares about Bitty,” Whiskey’s voice was sharp. “We’re here now anyway. We can’t really change our minds before the morning. If we take the stairs to go out we will be on the cameras downstairs.”

 

Tango took a few seconds to think, and said:

 

“I think that we technically could go out the emergency exits without being noticed. There’s no camera there.”

“How do you know that?” Ford asked.

“Oh. I get lost. A lot. I know those stairs well.”

 

That didn’t seem to make Ford feel any better. She curled up into herself, drawing her knees to her chest. Tango put his arm across her shoulders to pull her closer to him, and Whiskey stretched his legs so that his feet could touch hers.

 

“Hey there. It’ll be okay, Foxy,” Tango said.

“I’m sorry. I’m just… really stressed lately.”

“Wanna talk about it?” Whiskey asked.

“It’s- it’s nothing big. Just, you know. School. Managing the team. And, hum-. Well. You don’t wanna hear about it.” She was laughing, but it was empty and clearly fake.

“Bro, of course we wanna hear about it!” Tango yelped. “That’s what bros are for! Listening to each other while eating snacks -here, do you want some more seeds?”

 

Ford took a handful of the packet of seeds Tango was holding out to her, and she shoved them all in her mouth.

 

“Those seeds are so gross.”

“Why are you eating them then?” Whiskey asked.

“I didn’t eat much for dinner because Bitty had promised me a cupcake, but someone had already eaten it when I arrived at the Haus.”

“Mega-rude.”

“Ultra-rude.”

“We noticed you changing the subject,” Tango notified.

 

Ford stretched her legs, screeching quietly.

 

“Oh God. It’s just that- I don’t even know- I have a best childhood friend back home, Kenzie, okay? And well. Since I have this job as the manager of the team -I don’t really have time anymore and I barely go back home on weekends. And I feel like we’re drifting apart and I hate that.”

“Oh, that sucks. You still talk a lot? Texts, stuff like that?” Tango asked.

“I don’t know. Less than before. I try to talk as much as I can, but it’s not the same. It’s mostly Snapchat updates lately. I miss her and I miss what we had.”

“I’m sorry,” Whiskey said. “That really sucks.”

“Well. I’m visiting next weekend, so I’ll see her. It’ll get better then,” Ford shrugged.

“Of course it will! You’re a great friend, she misses you too!”

 

Keep chit-chatting
Stay tense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“-and the Canadian said: -Wow ! It’s a bit cold in there!”

“Tango. This joke was terrible and illegal under the Commonwealth,” Whiskey sighed.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Ford pondered.

“You didn’t even laugh.”

“It wasn’t that good either.”

“I’m just trying to keep you all awake…” Tango whined.

“No jokes.”

 

Tango made a face at that, but he stayed silent for a little while, looking for a topic that could interest everyone.

 

“Don’t you ever think about how funny it is that nineteenth and early twentieth century communist and anarchist thinkers were either Jewish, or raging antisemites, but there’s no in-between?”

 

That seemed to take his friends quite by surprise.

 

“I have to admit that’s not a question that keeps me up at night-” Whiskey conceded.

“And it’s true! I mean, I was reading Proudhon and Bakunin the other day- and listen to me, so many of their ideas are outdated now, but I still want to read the basics to better understand today’s ideology-, and they can say some horrors! It’s the same for so many leftist thinkers! Wow dudes, you think everyone is equal, but apparently some are more equal than others- and to think that there is barely one generation between them and let’s say, Luxemburg or Goldman-”

“Tango,” Whiskey cut him. “Let me ask you, because since the beginning of the year no one dares to and the whole team is wondering. How is that you grew such a passion for communism over the summer.”

 

Tango shrugged at that.

 

“I asked an econ question to Holster last year. He told me to read a book instead of bothering him. I did. And then I read another. And then a manifesto. And then another. Now I’m in the local anarcom party.”

“Just because Holster didn’t reply to your question?”

“I guess? I mean he told me to read a book and I did, and I made my own opinion with all my readings?”

“New bylaw: it’s now forbidden to not reply to any of Tango’s questions,” Whiskey said.

“I’m already texting Bitty to update the laws list,” Ford chimed in.

“But it’s important! Humans are political animals, so it’s important to know about politics!”

Keep debating on the impact Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Moses Hess have had on today’s world
Drop the subject; it’s not like there will be a debate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Er, Tango… No offense, but could you back off with the disastrous love life jokes?”

 

Tango blinked at that, before he began to ramble and apologise profusely.

 

“Oh- I’m sorry- It wasn’t my intention to- Well it doesn’t matter. I’m sorry. I’ll stop. Tell me to fuck off if I’m off-limits.”

“No I won’t tell you to fuck off-”

“You wouldn’t be the first,” Tango shrugged.

“-it’s just that my break-up with Tyler (Oh, so that's his name, Tango thought, not Chab) is still… I thought I was over it but… I don’t want to talk about it.”

 

Whiskey drew his knees to his chest, and put his chin on them, his gaze lost on the floor of the library.

 

“I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“Connor…”

 

Ford had come closer to him, just enough to be able to put her hand on his arm. He turned towards her. Tried to not look at her in the eyes, because his were too misty to talk right now.

 

“The day you’ll want to tell us what happened, we’re here, okay?”

 

Whiskey sniffed, but he nodded. That’ll suffice for now.

Stay silent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of them dared to move, in fear of being heard.

It was way scarier than any potential ghost.

 

Keep your ears open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Now, I’m just saying,” Tango was claiming, talking with his hands as much as with his mouth, “that considering-”

“Hey! What are you doing here?”

 

A voice behind them was thundering, and suddenly there was a harsh flashlight in their eyes.

Crap. They had continued to talk, and got so engrossed in a discussion regarding Game of Thrones that they had totally forgotten that they weren’t hanging out in Tango’s room, but in the middle of the night in the closed library.

The night watchman was right here, and they didn’t even hear him come close to them.

Crap crap crap. They are dead.

 

There was a meeting with the security of campus and the coaches first thing in the morning.

Out of the office where the meeting happened, Bitty was waiting for them, with this look on his face -he was mad, and disappointed. He just held out his hand, and Whiskey, not proud, gave him back the old camera he had lent them.

 

“You have something to say?” Bitty asked, captain voice on.

“If you want to rip us a new one that’s too late,” Tango replied, “The coaches did it for you. We’re suspended from the team until the end of the semester, Ford included. If we cross a line again she’s fired and we lose our scholarships.”

“Let that be a lesson for y’all. You’re lucky you only got a suspension.”

“Sorry.”

“You better be.”

 

Lesson learned. They also all got an earful from their parents, and by the time the suspension was over, none of them wanted to try their chance again by toeing around the rules when they had to regain the trust of their team. It’s not like Bitty would have lent them his camera again, anyway.

 

 

Aaaaand it's the Ending E! Great that you made it that far! Less great for our bunch of idiots, though... Surely they CAN do it, no?

 

Back to the start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snacks were long gone, and Tango couldn’t stay put for long, so he began to rummage through the shelves to pass time.

It was all dictionaries. Nothing interesting.

Whiskey and Ford were both on their phones, Ford texting, and Whiskey scrolling down his Facebook timeline.

 

“Apparently Dex and Nursey almost killed each other -once again,” Connor said. “Good thing Dex lives in the basement now, they would be dead by now otherwise.”

“Hops is asking if we’re finding anything, yet,” Ford said.

“Tell him we’re too scared of moving from where we are and of making noise, so we just plan to sit on the floor for nine hours until the library opens in the morning,” Whiskey proposed.

“No, ask him why the hell he’s still up that late,” Tango asked. “It’s important for youngsters to have eight hours of sleep.”

“Bro he’s one year younger than you.”

“But in his heart, and in his mind? He’s still a child.”

Tangredi are you kidding?

 

Other than their shushed conversation, every now and then…

There was nothing. Nothing, nada, que dalle.

 

“On YouTube videos there’s always so many things happening…”

“They cut a twelve-minute video from several hours of shooting.”

“Uh.”

 

While Tango was turning the pages of the random dictionary he had in front of him, he heard something.

Something coming closer.

Silently, he turned towards Whiskey and Ford. When they saw the look on his face, they focused. And they heard it too.

 

“It’s either a ghost. Either the watchman,” Whiskey shushed.

“And ghosts don’t walk,” Tango added.

“Ok. Let’s not freak out,” Ford tried.

 

They looked at each other.

 

“I take the mics,” Tango yelped.

“And I take the camera!”

“And let’s freaking run, boys!”

 

The three of them began to run across the floor, following Tango to the emergency staircase that they hurtled down. They didn’t even bother to stop once in the street. They kept running until they rushed Tango’s dorm, the closest of Founders, and the three of them crashed on the bed the second they made their way in.

Never again.

 

“I’m not sure the noise were footsteps, now,” Tango managed to say, once he could breathe a little.

It was.

“Ford, why do you insist on hunting ghost if anything that could be a ghost freaks you out so much?” Connor asked.

“Shush. It wasn’t a ghost. We can check on the rushes.”

“Tomorrow morning maybe,” Tango yawned, and he took off his T-shirt. “Let’s sleep. If you want clothes my closet is here and if not, move the fuck away so I can go under the blankets.”

 

Ford got up, and assessed the bed.

 

“We won’t fit.”

“The two of us fit,” Whiskey said, as he was taking off his jeans. “You won’t be much of a squeeze. Hop in, it’s cold.”

 

She rolled her eyes, but joined them once she found one of Tango’s rare clean T-shirts to sleep in.

They definitely didn’t fit. That was uncomfortable and crampy as hell.

Tony's day
Ford's day
Connor's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some pre-set ringtone rang at twenty past five. Whiskey’s goddamn alarm.

Tango rubbed his eyes as he sat up in his bed, not ready to get ready.

 

“So early bro, really?”

“Unnf,” Whiskey replied.

 

Still, both of them made their way out of bed, careful not to wake Ford who was trying to fall back asleep, and they changed into some of Tango’s athletic clothes, grabbed cereal bars, before they got out to jog.

Tango tried to jog with Whiskey at least twice a week. Usually, he woke up when Whiskey left his dorm and shot him a text, and by the time Whiskey reached Tango’s building, he was out and ready to run. And, of course, whenever Whiskey crashed for the night at Tango’s because he had been sexiled by his roommate.

That was an intense jog, and Whiskey never wanted to talk during or after it, but Tango still liked spending some time with his friend, even if Whiskey didn’t enjoy it as much himself.

By the end of the run, Whiskey left Tango in front of his dorm and left to jog back to his own.

 

Ford had left the room already. As Tango was undressing to hit the showers, he noticed a small post-it note on the desk.

 

Thanks for letting us crash! I left the T-shirt you lent me on the bed and stole a cereal bar! I’ll be @the Haus after school let’s watch the rushes then

 

Wednesday was Tango’s most intense day of classes. He had crammed as many classes as he could between seven thirty and three in the afternoon, having only a one-hour break which he used to do his homework.

Maybe going for a double-major in Programming and History wasn’t the best idea of the century, but he was good with computers and he read about dead thinkers and militants in his free time anyway, SO.

He, as always, bought a sandwich (cheap, filling) on his way out of class, finished his homework on the first free table he could find, and half an hour later made his way to the Haus.

His intensive studying day was over, now it was time to socialise and finally talk to another human being.

 

Ford was already in the kitchen of the Haus, re-reading some class notes while eating a mini-pie. When she saw Tango entering, she broke into a huge smile.

 

“Yes! Finally some distraction.”

“Hi Ford! How was your day?”

 

While they were chatting, Tango pulled out his laptop and the SD card of the camera to begin to de-rush with Ford. There were so many gigas. So much footage. And yet, so little had happened.

By the time Tango began to show Ford the editing software he was using while the footage was copied on the laptop, Nursey and Dex came back to the Haus -Nursey just came in the kitchen long enough to say hello and grab half of the mini-pies, complaining about usually being too late to have any, but Dex sat down next to Ford and Tango.  

 

“What is that, Tango?”

“Footage of our investigation yesterday.”

“Where did you go?”

“Foun-”

“-you’ll know when the video will be posted! Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell not to miss it!” Tango cut Ford without any ounce of tact.

 

Dex frowned at them.

 

“And you’re doing that instead of your programming assignment?”

“Oh, yeah. I finished it,” Tango shrugged.

“What? The one that the prof gave us this morning? The whole thing?”

“What. It wasn’t that hard.”

 

Dex shook his head, in disbelief, and got up. He grabbed the plate with the three remaining mini-pies, muttering under his breath, and on his way out of the kitchen, he crossed ways with Whiskey who was entering. They exchanged a “hey”, and Whiskey stole one of the pies, before he took his place at the table.

 

“Yo! So, what were the footsteps?”

 

The footsteps weren’t anything great, in the end. Still, they manage to have a rough editing draft of their adventure the night before by the time everyone was leaving for team dinner.

When he was back in his dorm, Tango just sat at his desk and sighed.

He hated Wednesdays. He was always in a depressed mood. No hockey, lot of classes, his hormones at the lowest.

He took out his vial of T and his syringe for his injection first thing tomorrow morning, took his pills, and went to bed. He didn’t feel like doing anything but watch YouTube videos hidden under his blankets.

Ford's day
Connor's day
Next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty past five. Twenty past goddamn five. That’s when Whiskey’s phone rang and woke Ford up.

Twenty. Past. Five. No way, in hell or out of it, that she’ll get up at t w e n t y p a s t f i v e.

Thankfully, the boys were quick to leave the room and not too loud while doing so. Ford managed to sleep a bit more – that is, until her own phone woke her up at six.

She had class at seven today.

She sighed, dressed up, grabbed a cereal bar and made her way out of the room, writing a small note to Tango on the way out. Tango digs any kind of token of appreciation. And making Tango happy should be everyone’s first priority.

 

She arrived too early to class. Tango’s dorm was closer than hers. Barely any students were already seated, and the prof was definitely nowhere near the classroom already. So, Ford took her phone, and after liking most of the messages of the team group chat (her boys needed validation), she typed one to her best friend.

Kenzie, Denice

>> Hey Kenzie! You hadn’t replied to my last message haha! What’s up?
>> I’m coming back this w-e @my parents we should meet
>> Go to the lasertag arena like before

 

Kenzie only replied by the time Ford’s beginner Spanish class ended at noon. As she left the room, she saw the reply – “let’s try.” She quickly put her phone away when she saw that Whiskey was waiting for her in the hallway, as usual.

Just talk about what you learnt in Spanish today, Ford. Native speaker Connor Rafael Whisk probably didn’t give a darn about learning the name of the colours, but at least she was talking.

They got their food at the student hall and when they sat up, Ford couldn’t help but feel relieved. Finally a comfortable seat.

 

“I’m still exhausted. I love you guys, but never again I share a twin bed with the both of you after hunting ghosts in the library.”

“I don’t mind sharing with Tango,” Connor shrugged. “I always share with my dog back home.”

 

Ford swatted him on the arm at that.

 

“Don’t call Tango a dog!”

“I’m not saying he is! It’s just that -he drools as much as my lab, and I like my dog, so it’s a compliment-”

“Still! Be nice!”

 

Connor chuckled at her. And Ford… Ford was confused. And relieved, a little bit. Whiskey was her friend. She worried about him. She knew he was the kind of guy who avoided physical affection like the plague, but at the same time, he was probably the one wanting some the most. So she definitely didn’t understand how Tango, octopus extraordinaire, managed to pierce his armour – but she was thankful he did. She was lost in thought when Whiskey’s voice brought her back to reality.

 

“What do you think? About the YouTube channel, and all that?”

“Mmh? What do you mean?”

“Like, do you like it -or do you think it’s, hum. Stupid. Useless. I don’t know.”

 

Oh. Wow. That was interesting. Ford hadn’t given it too much thought, to be honest; so, she began to talk, as the ideas came to her mind.

 

“I think we won’t make thousands of dollars out of it. That we never will reach five hundred subscribers. That we will never find a ghost that will agree to appear on camera. But it’s funny. We do things we never do usually, and we hang out. I like doing this with you, guys. What do you think about it?”

 

And that was the million-dollar question. Ford knew she could be immature. Tango was Tango. And Whiskey…

 

“I like doing it with you too.”

 

Well. That was that, Ford thought, and she smiled.

 

She had one more class this afternoon, Ancient Literature, and then Ford was done with the day. The good thing with Wednesday was that there was no hockey. No practice, no games; so, basically, it was the only day Ford could do her homework. She went to the Haus, and arrived just when Bitty pulled out two mini-pies trays out of the oven. So, she began to do her homework here, in the kitchen, to hang out with him in silence, while he was on his phone. After a while, he boxed one tray, and put the others on a plate in front of her, before he left to his late afternoon class.

She barely managed to have any work done. She just had her stomach in knots.

When Tango finally arrived, she was at the end of her life.

 

“Yes! Finally some distraction,” she beamed, discarding the notes she was trying to read.

“Hi Ford! How was your day?”

 

Tango was more than eager to show off his video editing software. It was very probably a very expensive one that he had cracked somewhere on the internet, but Ford’s knowledge on the subject was close to none. Everything he was telling her was going in one ear and coming straight out the other anyway.

Dex came to sit with them for a while, watching what they were doing on the laptop.

 

“What is that, Tango?”

“Footage of our investigation yesterday.”

“Where did you go?”

“Foun-” Ford began.

“-you’ll know when the video will be posted! Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell not to miss it!” Tango cut Ford off without any ounce of tact.

 

You know Tangredi, teasers only work if there’s any kind of hype.

 

Ford tuned out once again after that, and, without even really noticing, Dex was replaced with Whiskey at the kitchen’s table. He seemed content.

 

“Yo! So, what were the footsteps?” he asked.

 

The footsteps were probably just footsteps. Great. Ford could fall asleep on her chair, though. She needed her sleep.

 

Still, she managed to stay alive, and go through team dinner – and once she was back in her dorm, her roommate reminded her there was a Theatre Kids party in one of their dorm rooms tonight.

 

“I’m going but, not long,” she agreed.

“Yeah, yeah.”

 

On her way out, she shot a last text to Kenzie.

Kenzie, Denice

>> Yes so cool!! I’ll tell you as soon as I’m back home!

> okay.

Tony's day
Connor's day
Next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Connor heard his alarm, he didn’t want to get up. He never wanted to, but this morning especially. Maybe he could turn it off and fall back asleep. But, Tony was already sitting up and Ford was clearly waking.

He didn’t really have a choice to get up, now, did he?

 

“So early, bro, really?” Tony groaned.

“Unf,” he groaned back.

 

Both of them ran together twice a week; usually Connor was in his own dorm, and was picking Tony on the way, but he spent enough nights squatting his friend’s bed because of his asshole roommate sexiling him every other day that Connor now had running clothes in Tony’s closet.

Ford had fallen back asleep by the time they were out of the room with cereal bars in their mouths. Some people were lucky.

Connor liked to run with Tony. They had a similar rhythm, but his average was better on mornings they run together because Tony always insisted on running a few sprints. Also, Connor liked to hang out with Tony, even if he was awkward -even more so in the mornings- and rarely knew what to say. So he didn’t say anything.

He was probably really boring. That’s why he never asked Tony to jog together more than twice a week.

Elea, Connor

> hey wazzup
> you should call mama she wont stop complaining about her ingrate son who never calls home

>> Well. If she want to talk to me that much she can call.
>> I’m always the one making efforts

> it’s not EFFORT it’s family!!!! 🤬😡😡

>> She can call.

> duh.
> are you coming for thanksgiving?

>> Maybe

> And do you have a new gf to bring 😘😘
> Connor
> Connor reply

 

School on Wednesday mornings was easy. He had a Business class, and then a Spanish Literature in Spanish and an Advanced Portuguese one. He wasn’t a big fan of Business classes, but it had been a pragmatic choice; if he couldn’t join the NHL, then he’d rather find a job easily. It didn’t matter how much he wanted to learn more about Grammar or History of Arts, if it didn’t open him any good jobs opportunities after. The soonest he was financially independent, the better.

 

As usual, he waited for Ford, whose Spanish prof always ended class too late, so they could grab lunch together at the student hall. She was telling him about her lesson -it was a beginners class, and it was really endearing for Connor to hear her list the baby vocabulary she had learnt this week- while they got their trays of food.

 

“I’m still exhausted,” Ford sighed, once they were seated. “I love you guys, but never again I share a twin bed with the both of you after hunting ghosts in the library.”

“I don’t mind sharing with Tango,” Connor shrugged. “I always share with my dog back home.”

 

Ford swatted him on the arm at that.

 

“Don’t call Tango a dog!”

“I’m not saying he is! It’s just that -he drools as much as my lab, and I like my dog, so it’s a compliment-”

“Still! Be nice!”

 

Connor chuckled at that. Ford didn’t seem keen on continuing to carry the conversation, so he took a few moments, and he asked:

 

“What do you think? About the YouTube channel, and all that?”

“Mmh? What do you mean?”

“Like, do you like it -or do you think its, hum. Stupid. Useless. I don’t know.”

 

Ford sat back in her chair, to think a little.

 

“I think we won’t make thousands of dollars out of it. That we never will reach five hundred subscribers. That we will never find a ghost that will agree to appear on camera. But it’s funny. We do things we never do usually, and we hang out. I like doing this with you guys. What do you think about it?”

 

That it was imprudent, embarrassing, and useless. But at the same time…

 

“I like doing it with you too.”

 

After lunch, Ford went back to class while Connor sat at Annie’s to do his homework. During the afternoon, Derek and William came to join him to drink a coffee, and they chatted for thirty minutes together before Connor had to leave for his last class of the day -Economics. He was exhausted, and dozed off a little, but he managed not to fall asleep on his chair. He may or may not have been the first out of the room at the end of the lecture, though. It was way too late to still have classes.

The way to the Haus was short. When he arrived there, he could hear that everyone was in the kitchen already.

William was sadly leaving as he entered the room – Connor just got to say hey, and to steal one of the mini-pies he was carrying on his plate, before he sat down next to Tango. He and Ford were already on a laptop, looking at the rushes of the night before.

 

“Yo! So, what were the footsteps?” Connor asked, curious.

 

The footsteps sounding like they were footsteps. Wow. In a way, Connor didn’t mind;  he was too tired to be properly excited about them right now, to be honest.

Team dinner came like a blessing in the middle of their video-editing session (as much as he liked the investigations, the editing was boring), and, as soon as it was over, he invented an excuse to go back to his dorm right away. He just wanted some sleep.

 

Tony's day
Ford's day
Next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Founders video made 412 views in a week. That’s a lot of views! Maybe they’ll end up making enough YouTube money to buy a sandwich to cut in three one day! For a grainy video (they definitely don’t have what they need to take night shots) where not much happens (Ford did a voiceover explaining Alex Johnson’s story) besides them running away while screaming in the middle of the night, well that’s not too bad.

Also, good point, the Tadpoles had “forgotten” to give the old camera back to Bitty. So they now were the happy almost-owners of a battered 2012 camera, and Tango could nearly operate it correctly. Honestly, soon they’ll be stars, Tango could feel it.

They were now hanging on the couch of the Haus, in the middle of the afternoon, a sacred place if ever there were one, showing off the video to the Frogs – making it 413 views.

 

“That’s…” Chowder began.

“Something?” Nursey proposed.

“Shit.” Dex corrected.

 

Whiskey took mock offense at that.

 

“Wow. Mega-rude, William.”

“No- Sorry, I don’t mean-” he began to backpedal -and then, when he noticed the shit-eating grin that Connor was sporting: “You know it’s shit.”

“We’re trying! We’re still discovering how to edit videos, you know. We’re beginners.”

“It’s not only a question of editing, though,” Nursey said. “It’s also… Empty. You don’t move, you stay put, you hardly interact with what’s around you.”

“We broke into the library and were this close to getting busted!” Ford took offense.

And that’s badass.” Chowder pointed out.

“Why, thank you, Chris.”

“Yeah but. Maybe next time, go somewhere where you can walk around? And interact more with the environment. That what makes the ghosts videos creepy - or funny. I don’t really know what you’re going for,” Dex advised.

“Also, there’s a certain lack of ghosts for your ghost-busting video,” Chowder added.

 

Well. He had a point.

 

“We can’t force ghosts to appear on camera if they don’t want to,” Ford complained.

“The two ghosts of the Haus refuse to be filmed sadly,” Tango whined. “That would make so many views.”

There’s no ghosts in this Haus,” Nursey screeched.

Yes, there are,” everyone but Chowder replied.

 

The assessment was clear: the Tadpoles still had a lot of work to do if they planned to become YouTube stars.

That just made them sigh in discouragement.

 

“I mean. We have tonight free,” Nursey suddenly said. “And we don’t have practice tomorrow because Murray and Hall have this conference or I don’t remember what- So you should totally try to film something tonight.

“But what?” Ford asked, blasée. “There aren’t that many ghosts’ rumours on campus.”

 

There was a silence, for a moment.

 

“There’s something weird in the volleyball Casa,” Chowder finally said. “A weird vibe. It’s been a few weeks, I hate spending the night there. There’s like, tiny sounds, and you feel like things are touching you in your sleep, and you see faint movement from the corner of your eye, but the second you turn on the lights everything is calm again.”

“That’s called being stressed as hell, Chowder,” Dex sighed.

“I know what I saw!”

“More seriously,” Dex explained, totally ignoring his friend, “There’s the case of missing objects and strange noises in Faber. Maybe it’s supernatural, maybe not, but I guess you can agree with me: that’s not normal. You all have heard the crashing sounds when we’re in practice.”

“Mmh. I don’t know,” Ford admitted.

Tango: SWV’s team house is haunted and we, almost-professional ghostbusters, only hear about it now? Let’s help them!
Whiskey: Someone has indeed stolen my biscuits during practice yesterday. I really like my biscuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girls’ volleyball team was more than happy to leave their Casa to the Ghost Hunters for the night. Being cooler than them, they had been invited to a party at the Alpha Upsilon house, so they didn’t plan to go back before eleven AM.

Only Caitlin, the captain, stayed behind, to supervise the research, and also because she was one of the eight subscribers of “Ghost Hunters WTF” (name still needing to be changed) so she was more than honoured to be a guest in their next video. She had a camera of her own, one that one of her teammates was more than happy to lend.

 

“I love ghost hunting videos! Do you have an EMF meter? A thermascope? A spirit box?” she was asking, beaming. “How do you attract them?”

“I… Mostly I try to say: ‘Hey, I know you’re here!’ and one time they showed up, so,” Tango tried. “Also we have Bitty’s old camera and a mic we stole somewhere.”

“That’s. That’s good too.”

 

They entered the Casa, the three of them, followed by Farmer… And nothing was out of the ordinary in the hallway. No noise, no weird movement, nothing.

 

“So… Where do we check?” Connor asked. “And what do we check?”

“Hell if I know.”

“Let’s make two groups, it’ll be quicker this way.

 

Bathroom
Kitchen
Living-room
Basement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford and Caitlin were rummaging through the shelves of the downstairs bathroom, as if there could be a supernatural being tucked between a half-empty box of tampons and packages of unused toothbrushes. There was a weird aesthetic in the fact of going through makeup bags, only lit by a flashlight. Ford dug that.

 

“Gosh, a half-clean bathroom… Am I dreaming?” Ford asked.

“Yeah. It’s not spotless, but May insists we keep it clean.”

“I share my bathroom with all the floor in my dorm, and the bathrooms in the Haus are… Are. Believe me, this is the cleanest bathroom I’ve seen since last time I visited my parents. And even there, I share with my siblings, so it’s still a mess.”

“Well, the Haus bathroom are… Yeah,”

“Yeah.”

“I mean,” Caitlin asked. “Like the downstair bathroom is so gross, and Chowder’s and Nursey’s too because Chowder and Nursey, but the other one? It must be clean no? It’s Dex’ and Ollie's and Wicks’ and Bitty’s.”

 

Ford chuckled heartlessly at that.

 

“Dex, Ollie, Wicks and Bitty are a bunch of goblins. I don’t even want to know what their bathroom looks like.”

 

Caitlin laughed.

 

“They’re not that bad, are they?”

“They’re worse than bad.”

“Isn’t that hard?” she asked. “Being around boys all day long?”

“Well. It considerably reduces my dating pool. But thirty minutes into any bus trip I have to make with them?” Ford confided, “I thank God that I’m not into boys.”

 

They tried to look around a bit more, but there was nothing in the bathroom.

 

Living-room
Attic
Basement
Kitchen
Give up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This kitchen is… Dead.”

“Good thing that we’re looking for ghosts then, Tony.”

 

That was not supposed to be a joke, and Connor knew it very well. And Tango knew that Connor knew.

 

“What?” Connor said, when Tango sent a pointed look his way. “This kitchen isn’t dead, it’s normal, and I’d rather have this than what we have in the Haus.”

“One day you’ll have to tell me what you’ve got against Bitty,” Tango stated, not looking at his friend but instead beginning to look in the cupboards, filming them.

 

Well. Count on Tango to not even try to have a veiled conversation using kitchen metaphors.

 

“Bitty put curtains in the kitchen of a frat house,” Connor replied, pretending to look around the room with the flashlight of his phone.

“Yeah? And?”

“And.”

“Whis, are you jealous of Bitty?” Tango asked, because Tango always knew which was the most annoying question to ask.

 

Whiskey shrugged. And his answer was clearly a lie:

 

“No.”

“Why are you jealous of Bitty?” Tango kept going, because he didn’t know when to stop.

“I’m not jealous of Bitty.”

“You are.”

“Am not.”

“Bro.”

 

That was it. Whiskey slammed his phone on the table, angry.

 

“I am, okay? I’m jealous of Bitty because he’s gay, and he’s out, and he can have a boyfriend and hold his hand and he can put fucking curtains in a frat house’s kitchen and people accept that. Accept him. Meanwhile I have NHL plans and I can’t get out of the closet because of that and because my parents would disown me like they did with my older brother. And… Yes, I don’t want to be gay like Bitty -the kid of gay who puts up curtains- but. What can I say. I’m a shitty gay.”

“Okay,” Tango said, and that was it. “But it isn’t Bitty’s fault.”

“I know. I’m angry at myself, mostly. For feeling that. As if I didn’t have enough guilt about being gay.”

“You should talk about it with someone who didn’t only see a psychiatrist just enough to be prescribed HRT. There are free counsellors on campus, if you want. To help you work on this. Because the guilt and all, that’s not healthy.”

“I know. But I need to actually go, Tango. It’s hard.”

“I’ll go with you so you have an appointment. First thing on Monday.”

 

Whiskey had calmed down a little.

In the dark of the kitchen, he turned towards his friend, and he said:

 

“Thank you.”

“No prob, bro.”

 

Tango closed the cupboard, and he added:

 

“You know what? Maybe you are not the same kind of gay guy as Bitty – but you are the kind of gay that you are. And you both are pretty 'swawesome. We’re all queer differently, and none of us is a fraud. Also there’s no freaking ghost here, talk about wasted time.”

Basement
Bathroom
Living-room
Attic
Give up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The living-room stank less than the one in the Haus. There wasn’t a radioactive couch, to begin with, and neither were there bi-weekly Mario Kart contests with twenty guys sweating like cows on the way to the slaughterhouse that left a stench behind them.

 

“You have more surface than we do,” Ford said, looking around the room with her flashlight. “We should organise a kegster here, once.”

“Uh, maybe,” Caitlin replied. “I think May wanted to organise a big matchmaking party for either the end of the semester or Valentine’s day.”

 

At this, Ford turned towards Caitlin in one bolt, blinding her with her flashlight.

 

“A matchmaking party?”

“Yeah -like, you know, I’d love it to be that we secretly try to set up couples during the night and the one who set up the most wins -but May is more into organising a big speed-dating.”

“Oh god. If it’s the secret matchmaking thing, let me be a matchmaker. I have so many ideas and I know so many secrets. Also if you want to try out your skills, you’re free to matchmake me as of right now. My type is ladies taller than me that will bring me to the theatre and get me potted plants.”

“That’s so lesbian-aesthetic cliché.”

“That’s cliché because it’s a hit, Farmer.”

 

Caitlin chuckled at that, and kneeled to look under the couch, looking for any trace of ghosts. None, of course.

 

“You said you had ideas of couples to help – care to tell me more?” Caitlin asked.

“And have you steal my match and get the point? I think not.” Ford replied. “Plus, I ain’t no snitch.” She took a few seconds, and said; “Also, he didn’t tell me who he had a crush on, just that he liked someone.”

“Who? Who told you, Denice?”

“I won’t tell.”

“Whiskey? It’s Whiskey, right?”

“I- how.”

“You don’t have fifty friends close enough to tell you about their secret crushes -it’s Whiskey. On whom? A prof? A married woman? A teammate? I can see it. A forbidden love, waiting to-“

“Stop, Farmer. I don’t know. It's not Whiskey. Whiskey doesn't talk about mere feelings.”

 

All that Ford had managed to get out of Whiskey, was that he found a teammate remarkably ‘interesting’. It wasn’t enough for her to warrant any theory on who it could be or even if it was actually a crush or not, but at the same time, coming from Whiskey… That could have been a whole declaration.

 

“I won’t tell. And don’t steal my match.”

“Okay, okay,” Farmer conceded. “Now let’s change rooms, we won’t find anything more here.

 

Kitchen
Bathroom
Basement
Attic
Give up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basement was dark, and by that, it meant that even if Whiskey and Tango wanted to turn on the lights, they couldn’t, because the bulbs were long gone. The only light was coming from the tiny dormer window.

 

“The basements of the frat row houses are creepy as hell,” Tango shuddered, using his phone to try to see something. “How can Dex live in the Haus’?”

“Oh, you know,” Connor shrugged. “He made his own little room in there and it’s cosy. The lights work, for one, and there’s a plant and it’s warm. Also he has fifty throw pillows on his bed. And,” Whiskey moved away the web that was near his face, “there’s significantly less spiders.”

“There’s what?” Tango shrieked.

“Oops,” Whiskey said, suddenly reminded of Tango’s terrible phobia of spiders. “Oh, no, it was just something that moved, my bad. And there’s really none of them in the Haus, pinky promise.”

“I can’t see you! Where’s your pinky?”

 

Connor turned around and lit his hand, so that Tango could find him. Their pinky promise sealed, Tango, totally terrified, didn’t let go of his hand.

(Honestly Whiskey was scared shitless too so it was welcome)

 

“I still couldn’t live in the basement.”

“Really, it’s cosy, Tan.”

“You spend a lot of time there, right?” Tango asked, as he turned his flashlight toward the water heater.

“Not that much. It’s just that… I have a roommate who spends all his free time in our room. And the Haus is always full of people. And I need some silence, sometimes.”

“Sorry.”

“No, Tango. You’re my friend. I like you. I don’t mind if you’re loud and noisy. But sometimes… I just need to be alone, you see? And, well, I’m not really alone because there’s Dex, but he also needs alone time so he gets me. So he doesn’t mind and we hang out in silence some afternoons.”

“Sorry.”

Tango… You really don’t bother me, okay? It’s just that… Dex is the kind of friend I go to when I need to be left alone. You are the kind of friend I go to when I wanna hunt ghosts and procrastinate my papers. And Ford is another kind. And all of you are 'swawesome and none of you annoy me.”

“Give me a hug.”

 

Without waiting for Whiskey’s answer, Tango hugged him, a bone-crushing-hug, and Whiskey tapped his shoulder a little, not really knowing what to do, before he hugged back.

After a few moments, Tango pulled away, and he said:

 

“Let’s say we checked the entire basement and let’s get out of here.”

Yes.

Kitchen
Bathroom
Attic
Living-room
Give up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey girls! Where are you!” Tango yelled from downstairs.

“In the bedrooms!” Ford’s voice replied from above.

“Okay, maybe we could check the attic, Whiskey proposed to Tango.

 

With some help from Caitlin and Ford, they managed to put in place the ladder to reach the attic. It wouldn’t stay put, so the girls were staying down to hold it, while Tango and Whiskey climbed up.

 

“We should think about investing in a GoPro,” Tango said, as he was going up the ladder with Bitty’s old camera in his hand.

“The day we have enough YouTube money to buy a kebab will be a freaking party, Tangredi.”

 

The attic of the Casa was, contrary to the Haus’, never used. Years of dust were gathering here, and there were boxes everywhere -most seemed to contain Christmas decorations, or old suitcases or piles of books.

 

“Hey, ghosts! I’m a bro of Mandy and Jenny! Hello!” Tango tried.

 

Nothing happened.

 

“Maybe the ghosts here don’t like Mandy and Jenny,” Whiskey snickered.

“Don’t say that!”

“Boys! Quick, please, I wanna pee!” Caitlin yelled from below.

 

Whiskey was going through the piles of textbooks, some from the eighties, what the hell, while Tango was focusing on the boxes.

After three boxes full of old and totally uninteresting stuff, Tango saw it. From the corner of his eye.

A box of clothes, slightly moving.

He didn’t even think. He took it, and he turned it over.

 

On the floor, a whole lot of dresses, and some tank tops.

 

And a dozen roaches.

 

It took one second for Tango to understand. And he screamed.

 

The roaches began to escape, and immediately, dozens of roaches came out of the other boxes and started to swarm on the floor of the attic-

 

Whiskey managed to grab Tango and rush him down the ladder, but the roaches were quicker, and the girls, who were holding the ladder, were screaming too.

 

Now that they were out, there were roaches everywhere. They were coming out of the bedrooms, the cupboards, the basement, under the couch, and by the time the four ghost hunters ran away from the Casa, the entire house was swarmed.

They stopped in the street, to look at the building, and if they were shaking and crying a little, well there was no witnesses.

Tango was still screaming, and he took of his shirt to throw it on the floor -two cockroaches came out of it.

 

“Holy shit,” Caitlin said, looking at the Casa. “We’re infested by roaches. We lived with a swarm a cockroaches for weeks- for months- and we didn’t notice-

“That’s so gross,” Ford cried, and she was sitting on the floor, shaking.

“I wanna puke,” Connor stated.

 

There was something surreal in the scene. Or, more likely, there wasn’t anything that wasn’t surreal here.

 

“I’m never putting a shirt on ever again,” Tango said.

“You will, Tony,” Ford said, and that seemed to calm her a little to give orders.

“I’m calling the pest control immediately,” Caitlin listed, taking deep breaths. “And then my roommates. And then my parents. And then Chris.”

“At least,” Whiskey said, disgusted, “Now I know what I’d like better between finding a thousand roaches or a human being in my attic.”

 

Connor's day
Tony's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“That’s no use. There’s nothing,” Whiskey sighed, closing yet another closet in the hallway. “Let’s give up.”

“Let’s not do that!”

“Tango. This is a perfectly normal house. Even if there were ghosts, they won’t come out.”

 

The girls were coming out of one of the bedrooms, empty-handed.

 

“I hate to break it to you Tango,” Ford conceded. “But I’m afraid that it’s no use.”

“I’m so disappointed,” Caitlin complained. “The one time that I can hunt ghosts!

“We’ll invite you to another investigation,” Ford proposed.

“Okay, okay. We can’t be lucky every time,” Tango agreed. “But it’s not too late, we can probably hang out at the Haus to play Mario Kart and there could even be some cake left.”

“You kidding, right?” Whiskey said. “Baked goods don’t last more than ten minutes these days. Someone gulps them down in one go.”

Have faith, Whisk.”

 

Connor's day
Tony's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Okay, let’s investigate Faber,” Whiskey said.

“Cool! Can we come with?” Chowder requested.

“Why would you come with?” Ford replied.

“Why would we come with?” Dex asked.

 

Chowder grinned.

 

“Because ghosts! And Faber is so big, you won’t be able to check everywhere alone! Come on!”

 

The three ghost hunters looked at each other, before Ford gave up and sighed.

 

“Okay, okay.”

“Yes!”

“I’m not sure my opinion has been asked at any point,” Nursey pointed.

“What should we do?” Dex asked. “A pre-investigation? We ask the guys what weird things they noticed in the building?”

 

Whiskey looked at him, his eyes dead and his tone flat.

 

“Uh. Yes. A pre-investigation. It’s the plan. That’s what we always do. That’s what we were about to do. Because we’re professionals. We had the idea of making a pre-investigation aeons ago,” he lied. “Let’s ask the guys hanging in the Haus.”

Ask Bitty
Ask Louis
Ask Hops
Ask Bully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connor loved to have a boyfriend. Because that’s what William was! His boyfriend! And they worked so well together, way more than him and Tyler who didn’t want to commit but at the same time absolutely wanted to have sex. They both had diametrically opposed expectations of the relationships they sought, so it was better for everyone if they just stopped. Even if Connor had really liked him.

 

But hey, now he had William, who was a perfect gentleman (well at least… regarding romantic relationships…) and he was perfectly happy, thank you very much.

 

Plus William had his room in the basement of the Haus, and there were great things about it, including, during Haus Big Tournaments (Bring Beer), being able to slip out of the living-room to go make out once their teams were eliminated.

The Tadpoles didn’t get any better at Mario Kart, but this night, the Frogs gave the Waffles a run for their money -who had crushed Eric, Ollie and Wicks to a pulp. So yeah, sadly, no discreet slipping out before the end of the night for quiet make outs.

 

At the end of the game (the Waffles won, that’s why Gen Z needs to be stopped), Tony and Ford, who were a bit too hammered, decided to sleep on Michel the Couch, because it was that clean and comfy, while the Waffles went back home – and as soon as the coast was more or less clear, Connor grabbed Will’s hand to lead him to the basement. Snogs were long due.

 

There was something good about being able to make out with someone in bed, without any expectations. The kisses went quickly from heated to slow and meaningful, and that’s when-

 

“What the hell?” Connor suddenly asked, sitting up (and hitting William’s nose while doing so)

“Yes, indeed, what the hell?” Will asked, holding his face.

“What’s this noise?”

 

Indeed, there was a faint, low, growling noise that was echoing through the small room.

 

“It’s the water heater. Can we go back to what we were doing?”

“It is not a water heater, Poindexter,” Connor said, grabbing his phone and shooting a text. “I need to investigate.”

 

He left the room quickly, followed by Dex who was not that happy by the evolution of the events.

The noise was, indeed, coming from near the water heater.

 

“Happy?” Will asked.

“No. It’s weird,” Connor replied, using his phone as a flashlight to try to look for whatever was wrong.

 

That’s when the basement’s door opened wide, and that Tango and Ford, both still half drunk, ran to the bottom of the stairs, their own phones in hand.

 

“Whis, what’s happening?” Tango asked.

“There’s a buzzing sound here? The same that the couch made when it was possessed. I can’t find where it comes from, exactly.”

 

After a few tries, Dex stopped attempting to stop them. He knew better. He just crossed his arms, and leant against the wall of his room, watching the Tadpoles doing their investigation – and this, until Ford decided to open the circuit breaker panel box.

And instead of circuit breakers, she was welcomed by the Void.

A 20’’x10’’ piece of Void, making a faint, low, growling sound.

Ford just turned toward Dex, absolutely, one hundred percent disabused, showing her find with a hand.

 

“Yeeeah, so, there’s a door to Hell in the basement of the Haus,” Dex began to explain.

“Will, really?” Whiskey asked. “When did you plan to tell me, exactly?”

“Never! You’d want to close it.”

“Yes? Of course? There’s a whole-ass door to Hell in the basement? It’s dangerous, we can’t keep it open!”

“It’s not that dangerous,” Dex argued. “The demons in there are quite nice, I’ll have you know.”

“There’s demons in there,” Tango repeated, his eyes lost in the Void.

“Yeah, where do you think the demon that possessed the couch came from?” Dex asked. “I hadn’t fed the door enough, so… One got out.”

 

It got better and better. Ford was either not sober enough or not drunk enough to deal with this.

 

“You feed this thing?”

“Yeah. From what I understand of it, it appeared because it smelled Bitty’s pie. So I feed it the pie as much as I can?”

“What, you’re the pie thief? You… You butthole!” Tango harrumphed.

“We can’t keep this thing open, Will. What’s the point of keeping it?”

“It must be the thing that keeps Mandy and Jenny out of the basement,” Ford said.

 

Dex just shrugged.

 

“Honestly, the demons are chill. Like, once you tune out the buzzing sound and the random hellish cries, and you find how much pie they want you to shove into the door to feed them, they’re pretty okay roomies. They eat all the spiders.”

They’re keeping Mandy and Jenny away!” Ford emphasized.

“And?” Dex asked. “Do Mandy and Jenny eat the spiders in the basement? I don’t think so. So yeah, I don’t mind stealing Bitty’s pies and throwing them into a literal door to hell to feed demons if it keeps the spiders away. I’m that phobic.”

“Okay, in all honesty I feel that,” Tango, arachnophobe in his spare time, added. “I’d do the same.”

“Thank you! Also the demons are great listeners. Like I can tell all my bad thoughts into this door to hell and then literally close the door on them, the demons will never judge me. Because they do not speak English,” Dex explained. “And anyway, they appeared because they smelled Bitty’s pie. Be sure that the door will soon be gone; as soon as Bitty graduates, it will follow him to Providence. So what’s the point of exorcising it now? It won’t be here anymore come June.”

 

Well.

There was some logic, here.

 

The Tadpoles looked at each other, and sighed.

 

“Make sure that no other demon escapes it,” Ford compelled.

“Then make sure that Chowder doesn’t steal all the cookies to hide them in his room.”

“Can we go to sleep now?” Tango asked. “I’m not going back upstairs, I’m too drunk for that. Dex, I hope your bed has enough space for four people.”

 

The bed didn’t really have space for four people. But snuggled in there between his boyfriend and his best friends, surrounded by lit fairy lights (they were now cosy and all too lazy to get up and turn them off), blankets and probably a dozen demons hidden in the shadows that were apparently decent people as long as they weren’t hungry, Whiskey decided that it was just as good this way.

 

My my my, wouldn't that be the s.ecret e.nding I keep talking about? Congratulations. Did you find it on your first try? What routes did you chose? I can't wait to hear from you! I hope you enjoyed! 

 

Back to the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitty was sunbathing in the reading room, in a tank top and a short, his sunglasses on, drinking some iced tea.

It was warm today indeed; but still. It was October. Bitty was truly becoming a Northerner.

 

The guys went to Chowder’s room to get to the reading room, Dex and Whiskey staying inside, at the window, because the roof wouldn’t survive seven grown men.

 

“Hi”, Bitty said, not moving at all.

“Bits!” Tango yapped. “Tell us: have you noticed anything wrong at Faber lately?”

 

At this, Bitty sat up, and he looked at his team from over his sunglasses.

 

“Your pass game this morning. That was utter shit.”

 

Wow. Rude.

 

“That’s not what we asked.”

“That’s what you get. Now, sorry boys, but I have exactly one hour of free time today and I intend of using it to do nothing and talk to no one. See you at dinner.”

 

Bitty lounged back in the chair, and put back his sunglasses correctly.

Welp.

 

Ask Louis
Ask Hops
Ask Bully
We gathered enough info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Something wrong at Faber? Mmh, let me think.”

 

Louis was on the bench on the porch, texting, when the guys came to bother him.

 

“I know! There’s, like. So many flags.”

“That’s, uh-”

“And the whole anthem thing before the games, like, what the fuck?”

“Louis-”

“And like, why is there so many people coming to our games anyway? We’re just a college team that’s so weird, why people that aren’t our moms even care?”

“Dude-”

“And the other day there was a soldier just back from deployment or whatever in the attendance and people gave a shit and there was even a word said for him? Like why would y’all thank him, his job is to terrorise civilians in the Middle-East, what the fuck-”

“Well he’s got a point here.” Tango agreed.

“So many weird things my dudes,” Louis concluded.

 

The Swedish exchange student was probably not the best guy to ask.

Ask Bitty
Ask Hops
Ask Bully
We gathered enough info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hops was hanging in the kitchen, doing his homework with Wicks. Both seemed quite relieved to be distracted away from their German translations.

 

“Yes I’ve seen weird things in Faber. Someone stole my Oreos,” Hops said, frowning. “Maybe a ghost.”

“Wow your ghosts steal your Oreos? Mine used to sexually harass me,” Wicks replied, sipping his tea.

“They stole my biscuits too,” Whiskey told Hops. “I want them dead.”

“If they’re ghosts, they’re already dead, Whisk,” Ford sighed.

“What?” Wicks asked.

“No, not you- I said Whisk not Wicks-

“Anyway,” Whiskey cut her off, “do not worry, Hops. Your Oreos will be avenged.”

Ask Louis
Ask Bitty
Ask Bully
We gathered enough info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bully was entering the Haus right when the guys were in the hallway.

 

“Hey bro, have you seen anything weird in Faber lately?” Tango asked.

“No,” he replied.

 

Well. That was quick.

Ask Louis
Ask Bitty
Ask Hops
We gathered enough info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faber, at night, was big and scary and empty, but thanks to Ford’s key, totally accessible.

Silently, the Tadpoles and the Frogs entered, armed with flashlights, crappy mics, Bitty’s old camera and Nursey’s phone to record.

 

“Ok so, we’re looking for a biscuit-stealing ghost, right?” Chowder asked.

“Shhh! They will hear us!” Tango replied, not shushing at all.

“The place is way too big,” Dex said, ignoring the two others. “Let’s split up.”

 

Nursey blinked at that.

 

“You want me dead, Poindexter? I’ve seen enough horror movies. I know I am statistically the first one that will die.”

“Nurse, I don’t need a ghost to kill y-”

“Yes, let’s split up,” Whiskey cut them off, “And you’re not going in the same group.”

 

Follow Nursey, Tango and Chowder
Follow Dex, Ford and Whiskey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Okay, so,” Chowder asked. “Ford gave us the keys of the attic where we stock all the old stuff and of the basement with all the maintenance tools. Where do we start?”

“Why did I say I was coming?” Nursey asked, to no one in particular. “I’m gonna die. The basement? The attic? I have a date at the slam poetry event tomorrow, I can’t die tonight.”

“I missed a date for our investigation last week,” Tango casually said.

 

Chowder turned towards him, totally at bay.

 

“What? You missed a date for ghosts? With a human being that you actually asked out?”

“Actually it was a girl from the track team who set me up in a blind date with one of her teammates who had just broken up with her ex. She was a bit angry but I met her two days after for coffee and turns out she thinks Hillary Clinton is an evil communist. And a tiny bit of a TERF. So really I didn’t miss a lot, ah- As usual, I want to say.”

“One day you’ll find your ideal anarchist woman, Tango,” Nursey told him, tapping his back in support. “You’ll wreck governments together.”

“Like, Clinton, evil, of course, but communist? Where? Anyway. Not that I don’t like to cry about my terrible love life to you, but maybe we should begin to look for ghosts.”

 

Check the attic
Check the basement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There wasn’t really an “attic” in Faber – just, an upper floor that was only used as a storage room, and that could be reached with one of the service stairs.

Chowder had gone once, to help Lardo to go get some stuff up there. So he was the one leading them.

The only problem, once they reached the door of the attic, was that… Well. The door was never used. And thus, key or not, it refused to open.

Chowder, Tango, and Nursey tried everything. They pushed, they forced, they tried to get it off its hinges – but it wouldn’t move. Finally, in despair, Chowder took a few steps back… And a few more… And a ran, head first at the door.

It opened immediately, making him fall on the ground.

Welp. Who would have guessed. Slowly, Tango and Nursey followed suit, and helped him to get up from the floor. When he did, he was holding his mouth – apparently, he had hit himself hard there, and he was wincing.

 

“Bro are you okay?” Nursey worried, holding him up and trying to use the flashlight of his phone to see something.

 

Chowder took away his hand. He was bleeding.

 

“Oh God-”

“Oh my God-” Chowder said. “That was sw’awesome.

“That was!!” Tango beamed.

“That was not! What the hell, why am I the only one worried here?”

 

Ignoring Chowder and Tango being way too excited (“I opened the door bro! With my head!” “That’s so freakin’ cool!”), Nursey looked around the room. It was a storage area, not that big, and there was a whole mess on the floor. Boxes, boxes, boxes… And a blanket, deep in the room.

So, Nursey did the logical thing to do; he turned on the lights.

 

The attic of Faber had been turned into a whole-ass bedroom. Where someone had probably been not so long ago, if the McDonald’s bag on the makeshift bed was any indication.

 

“What the fuck.” Nursey said.

“What the hell.” Tango added.

“Oh, man,” Chowder concluded, still trying to wipe out the blood around his mouth.

 

The three boys looked at each other, totally at sea about what to do.

 

“Let’s call the others?”

“Let’s so much call the others.”

Shot a text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I hate basements,” Chowder whined.

 

He was the first in line, carrying the flashlight. Tango was following him with the mic, and Nursey was filming the scene with his camera.

Slowly, the three of them were walking down the stairs, one step after another not really knowing where they put their feet.

 

“How can Dex live in the basement in the Haus,” Chowder continued to rant, with terror in his voice. “It’s so creepy. There’s always weird sounds and a weird aura there. I hate it. I don’t like to go visit his room because it’s in there.”

“Well I don’t like to go visit his room because he’s in there-” Nursey chimed in.

“God, how many steps are there?” Tango asked, totally ignoring them.

“Hey, guys, isn’t that- AHHHHH!”

 

Nursey.

Nursey slipped on the goddamn stairs.

Nursey, the last of the line, fucking slipped on the goddamn stairs, and began falling down them, and, of course, because Tango and Chowder were right in front of him, he dragged them down too – and they fell down almost ten steps, stopping only when Chowder ended face first in the wall at the bottom of the stairs, and the other two face first into him.

 

“Oops,” Nursey managed to say, as he tried to disentangle himself from the pile of limbs.

“That’s my ribcage Nursey, it hurts!”

“Sorry, sorry-”

“Ouch. It hurts. Tango, Nursey, it hurts so much.”

 

Finally, they managed to get up with more or less difficulty. They only had a flashlight to assess the damages – and visibly, Chowder had cut his lip open.

 

“Fudge, Nursey,” Tango said. “It’s your fault.”

What? The stairs were slimy as hell, that’s why I slipped!”

“I’m in pain, Nursey.”

“Let’s get the hell out of here before we get ourselves killed-”

“No, no,” Tango cut him off. “Now that we’re here, we look around.”

 

There were several doors in the basement’s hallway – only one of them was open, though. It was a maintenance closet. Besides learning that bleach wasn’t flammable as they read the labels of a bottle or two, there wasn’t much here.

 

“Can we give up now? Or do you want us to tear down the other doors?”

“Yes, yes…” Tango conceded.

Check the attic
Go back upstairs and wait for the guys to leave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m just saying’”, Ford began, as she was walking between Whiskey and Dex in the dark hallway. “That, Dex, you need to stop to antagonise Nursey like this.”

“I will! When he stops antagonising me! But he’s being a little bitch.”

“Well, I agree with Will here-” Whiskey chimed in.

“Connor you’re not help,” she cut him off. “But tonight Dex, you were the only one that was being a little bitch. (He began to try to defend himself) Ttt-tt-ttt. I’ll talk to him too. I know that usually he’s the one starting it. But still, be a grown-up and don’t provoke him. God, you both made me reconsider my plans as a preschool teacher.”

 

They reached the hallway between the locker rooms and the Coaches’ office – the place where the biscuit thief felony had occurred, and the office, that, well. Nothing had happened there per se, but now or never was the occasion to visit them.

 

“So, where do we go?”

Check the locker room
Check the office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The locker room was… Empty.

That was really underwhelming.

But crime had been committed here. Biscuits had been stolen. So there should be a clue, somewhere.

 

So everyone rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

 

“Why can’t we turn on the light?” Dex mumbled, his flashlight between his teeth as he was going through a forgotten bag.

“It’ll scare the ghosts away,” Ford explained.

“Also we’re filming, so we need it to be dark for the aesthetic,” Whiskey added.

“That’s very inconvenient.”

“Will. Weren’t you the one complaining about the quality of our videos? We’re trying to get better here. You should be proud of us,” Whiskey said, but he was chirping.

“I am, I am. But still. We can’t see shit.”

 

Dex was now looking around his own bench, right next to where Ford was searching. There was nothing here; he wasn’t the kind of guy to leave half of his stuff lying around in the locker room. But when he made a move to look at the bench next to his, Ford stopped him.

 

“You’re not looking around Nursey’s stuff. It will somehow end up with you killing each other.”

“Oh my God! Not all my interactions with Nursey or his stuff ends up with murder, you know!”

“Honestly I don’t,” Ford shrugged. “There’s all this tension between the two of you, you need to find a way to channel it out. Either you talk or you bone, I don’t care, but you do something.”

 

At that, Whiskey, who was looking at them, turned around to focus on Hops’ stall, and Dex… Dex began to stammer.

 

“Or what? Are you kidding, Ford?”

“What? What’s between you really looks like some unresolved sexual tension, you know that, right?”

“Are you kidding? I can’t bear the guy for more than two minutes when Chowder isn’t between us, and you’re telling me about sexual tension?”

“Am I wrong?”

Yes? I exiled myself in the basement because of this guy!” Dex said, with a repulsed grimace.

“Don’t look so disgusted! Okay, okay, no homo, you don’t want to imagine yourself with a teammate, but you can’t deny that-”

“No homo or him being a teammate isn’t the problem.”

 

Before Ford could reply, Dex had turned off his flashlight and got up.

 

“There’s nothing here, let’s try somewhere else.”

“Dex-”

“This conversation is over.”

 

Whiskey had an unreadable look on his face, and Ford had never been so confused. What was up between Nursey and Dex?

Check the office
Call the guys to get out of here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was something cool about entering the coaches’ office during the night. They usually ended up in there when they were about to get a new one ripped open.

Murray’s desk was a terrible mess. How he didn’t get lost in his own pens, that was a mystery; Hall’s wasn’t spotless either, but at least, they could see something on it.

They quickly agree not to touch anything or read any paper. Just looking around. They also would probably not put this part on the Internet; Ford would be dead if the Coaches knew she used the key to enter their office.

 

After five minutes, it was evident that the room was empty, and there wasn’t much more that they could do without moving stuff. Whiskey made a sign to regroup, and the three of them made their way out of the room-

-To come face to face with a guy that neither of them knew from Adam.

 

The guy was coming out of the trainers' room and had a pack of Oreo in his hands.

 

“Don’t let him go, guys.” Whiskey said.

“I’m calling the others,” Ford added, terrified.

 

Shot a text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTW – we passed the 50 suscribers

Ford
>> Hi Tango where are you??????!!!!!!!!
>> Emergency!!!!!!!!

Tango
> In the attic!!!!!!!!!!!
> WE NEED YOU NOW COMRADES
> YOULL NEVER GUESS WHAT WE FOUND

Ford
>> *YOULL* NEVER GUESS WHAT WE FOUND
>> GIVE US FIVE WERE COMING

 

That wasn’t how they had envisioned their Ghost-Busting night.

Chowder, Tango and Nursey had found a whole room set up in the attic.

Ford, Whiskey and Dex had found the squatter living in the room set up in the attic. Who had stolen more Oreos.

And also, when the downstairs group arrived in the secret room with the squatter with them, they noticed that Chowder’s lip was totally busted and he had blood covering his chin.

 

“The hell, Chowder?” Dex asked.

“War scar. That’s so cool.”

 

The squatter had been sat on his makeshift bed, and the six students all stood around him, more than ready to have explanations.

He didn’t look old – probably around twenty-five. He was white, with glasses and an old flannel, and he didn’t seem really happy to have been busted.

 

“So you’re the thief?”

Thief? I only picked locks, stole some cookies to eat and some of your equipment to sell it!”

 

Everyone turned towards Ford, suprised. She looked at the ceiling.

 

“Maybe? Uhm- I… I have not made an inventory since last year with Larissa. It’s so dull, guys.”

“Girl, what do we pay you for,” Whiskey said.

 

The squatter didn’t seem phased by any of this. He just seemed to want it to be done.

 

“Can I tell you all my tragic backstory now? It’s not that I’m hungry but I’d like to eat and sleep, I have a class at seven tomorrow.”

“Classes?”

“Yeah. I’m a grad student here,” he shrugged. “I study geography.”

“Why do you live in Faber?”

“Because all my money goes into my tuition and I can’t pay rent above that? So I’m squatting here.”

“See?” Tango began. “When I tell y’all that there’s a problem in the system; I’m telling you, if tuition and rent are so high, it’s not for nothing – it’s because the rich want to gatekeep education and owners, the leeches of society, know that the proletariat doesn’t have a choice and-”

“Tango no.” Nursey cut him off.

“Hey let him talk, it’s interesting-” Dex said.

“Dex no,” Ford protested. “Not you too.”

“Hey, besides that, can I continue my story, or?”

 

The squatter had clapped his hands, to get the attention back to him.

 

“You are incredibly rude,” Ford frowned. “We were talking.”

“I was talking first.”

“Yes, but you’re a squatter,” Whiskey shrugged.

“Hey! Squatter or not, he’s human first and foremost-”

“Tony, he stole my biscuits-

“I was hungry! You all forget food in the locker room! Can’t a hungry man eat? I don’t have enough to buy food for every lunch!”

“And our equipment? You stole that too! I thought I had lost my favourite mask- and you stole it! You sold it!” Chowder said, an angry tone in his voice (meaning that he was about as menacing as an angry kitten).

“I needed the bucks! And I never stole a mask, man, you probably have lost it yourself, I just sold like, sticks and blades-”

“Everyone shut up!” Ford yelled. “Mister squatter you’re really rude and not really nice! So now, what do we do?”

 

Whiskey: Play bitch games, win bitch prizes. Let’s rat him out.
Tango: He’s as much a victim of the system as we all are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTW – we passed the 50 suscribers

Tango
>> Nothing, let’s wrap up

Ford
> Same here
> RDV in front of Faber

Whiskey
> Can we go get froyo

 

Ford’s team was the first one in the hall of Faber, and when the others joined them – Chowder had a busted lip.

 

“Bro,” Dex worried.

“It’s Nursey’s fault-”

“Hey.”

“Do you have video to exploit?” Tango asked, as the group began to make its way out of the building. “We have a fall in the stairs, that could be funny.”

“What the hell happened to you,” Whiskey asked.

“We have footage of Dex freaking out about a spider in the trainers’ room,” Ford said.

 

Nursey and Chowder laughed at that.

 

“What? You’re scared of spiders, Dexy?” Nursey chirped.

“No, I’m not! It just surprised me, that’s all!”

“You live in the basement,” Chowder said. “How do you deal with all the spiders?”

I am not scared of spiders and there’s none in the basement anyway can we drop the subject-”

“You should have seen him,” Whiskey smiled. “Yelped like a little girl.”

“Really? Connor, I thought we were friends! I welcome you into my room!”

Don’t cry, Will,” Whiskey said, bumping into him, “I’ll get you some froyo to recover from your big scare, okay?”

“Tcch- Okay,” Dex agreed.

“So you admit you had a big scare.”

“Tango if you continue you’ll be the next ghost y’all will hunt,” Dex threatened.

Connor's day
Tony's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Why are we even discussing this? He stole our stuff. We’re calling the police.”

“Oh, shoot,” the squatter said.

 

Everyone turned towards Whiskey. He could see the approval -or lack of- on their faces. His life was a BioWare game.

 

“What? You know I’m right.”

“I’m not calling the police,” Ford said. “Tango, you do it.”

“Me? I don’t want to call the police at all. I’m not doing it.”

“I’ll do it-” Chowder proposed.

 

He took his phone out.

 

“Humm. I call the non-emergency line, right? What do I say?”

“I don’t know,” Ford told him, knowing exactly what to say. “Tell them where you are, and that there’s a squatter here, and-”

“Aaaand it’s too late,” Nursey cut her off.

 

Where the squatter had been, there was nothing. He somehow had managed to gather his bags, and his blankets, and he was already at the door of the room when Nursey had noticed him.

 

“Sayonara, fuckers!”

 

And he flew.

 

“Oh, shoot,” Chowder said.

 

Whiskey was the first out of the squatter’s room.

Neither of them talked until they were out of Faber, and Ford had locked the building. Nursey said something first -after he dropped himself on the grass, totally at bay.

 

“That’s not what I expected from a ghost hunt.”

 

Ford faceplanted on the ground, right next to him.

 

“That’s exactly what I expected from a ghost hunt.”

“And now, what?” Dex asked, sitting down.

“We can’t really use this footage,” Whiskey said. “At least, now I know what I’d like better between finding a thousand roaches or a human being in my attic.”

“Maybe if we edit out everything with him we can exploit something?” Tango proposed. “I don’t know you guys – but we got lost in a hallway near the bleachers, and the funniest thing happened-”

Connor's day
Tony's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The problem isn’t him, the problem is the fact that the USA are a company and not a country anymore. We survive thanks to the privilege of having had parents that could afford for us to do sports since we were young, and to have the physical condition that makes us able to play at a high level, offering us scholarships to be able to study. Scholarships that are a whole other topic to discuss, the fact that collegiate sports are an actual industry is also something problematic in itself, but anyway not everyone is as lucky and some of us have to resolve to other means to be able to survive – that’s not for nothing that there’s more and more homeless people and squatters, and-”

“Okay, okay. We’re not going to rat him out. Stop talking, you won”, Whiskey conceded. “But if he steals one more thing from us I’m calling the police. Okay, Mister squatter?”

“I don’t really have a choice.”

“Indeed you don’t. Goodbye.”

 

Whiskey was the first out of the squatter’s room.

Neither of them talked until they were out of Faber, and  Ford had locked the building. Nursey said something first -after he dropped himself on the grass, totally at bay.

 

“That’s not what I expected from a ghost hunt.”

 

Ford faceplanted on the ground, right next to him.

 

“That’s exactly what I expected from a ghost hunt.”

“And now, what?” Dex asked, sitting down.

“We can’t really use this footage,” Whiskey said. “At least, now I know what I’d like better between finding a thousand roaches or a human being in my attic.”

“Maybe if we edit out everything with him we can exploit something?” Tango proposed. “I don’t know you guys – but we got lost in a hallway near the bleachers, and the funniest thing happened-”

Connor's day
Tony's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The alarm was ringing. Twenty past six. Practice at seven. Get up, banana, a drink. Hockey bag and school bag ready to take.

Tony’s dorm was on the way. Tony was way too awake in the morning.

Practice. Drills, drills, eyes on the puck. Eric telling him to focus.

Eric wasn’t always wrong. To be honest, he rarely was.

Shower, dressing.

Classes. Econ. He hated econ.

Portuguese. Some conjugation exercises, and creative writing.

Write about what you did yesterday. 200 words.

At the back of the Portuguese classroom, cry in silence.

Knowing very well that the prof is seeing you but doesn’t say anything so no one notices.

Take your phone, read the group chat. It makes you feel worse. Shoot a text. She also doesn’t say anything, unlike usually.

WFT the highlights of the last falcs game

Whiskey
>> Hey guys. What time do you finish class this morning

Foxtrot
> 11

Tango
> ? 12 y

Whiskey
>> I finish at 12 too.
>> Can we meet for lunch?

Foxtrot
> Dinner hall?

Whiskey
>> No, like. A sandwich and we sit somewhere outside

Tango
> Sure bro

 

Breathe. Write a bullshit story about going to practice yesterday. You didn’t but who fucking cares.

 

Noon. Find friends, get food, eat food.

Wait until they finish eating to talk.

And speak up.

 

“Guys… I came out to my family yesterday.”

“Oh, wow. How did it go?”

“Guess,” he said, with a bitter laugh. “I will now have far less gifts to buy for Christmas.”

“Connor… You knew it wouldn’t go well. Why did you do it?”

“It slipped out while I was arguing with my mom about Thanksgiving plans.”

 

It was true. She had called, and probed him to know if he planned to bring a nice girl home; because, of course, if he had dumped his high school sweetheart, it’s because he had a new girl in his life, no?

It’s not like he had any time to dedicate to a girl, in between practice, ghost hunting, video-editing, school, homework, and being gay.

 

“She didn’t believe me, at first. And… And I don’t really believe me, either. Am I even gay? How would I know? It’s not like I ever hooked up with a guy. Or a girl.”

“And? You don’t need to to know that about yourself,” Ford told him with a low voice, putting her hand on his.

“I feel like a fraud. Like the worst gay guy on this planet. I was with Tyler, you know- for a few weeks, and- and we ended things. Because I didn’t want to do more than make out. I wanted to wait. But he made me understand that if I ever planned to find a boyfriend, I’ll never do it with this mentality- that on the gay dating scene, I’ll be the only guy who wants to wait until marriage-”

“And that’s what you want? Wait, until marriage?” Tony asked.

“Yes? No? I have no idea? I just… I don’t want to have sex because I feel like I need to. And… And I guess I don’t want to wait until marriage, but at the same time, I feel like I’m full of Catholic guilt, because I feel like… I don’t want to do it with anybody. Maybe not waiting until marriage, but I’d really not want to have sex with a guy with whom I couldn’t project to get married with, you see? And that’s stupid. I never fell in love. How long does it take to feel like you’re with the One? How could I ever find a guy who would wait for me? What if it takes months? In a dating scene where people are used to having sex so fast? Where can I find a guy who I’d like and who would have the same values as me?”

 

Ford pinched her lip, with her free hand. She always did that when she was thinking.

 

“Connor, could it be that you are… Demisexual? Like, with what you say about waiting, and being in love…”

“I don’t think so. I mean. I want to have sex,” he tried to explain -but it was weird to him. “Like, uh. With Tyler. And his name wasn't Chab stop calling him that. I really was, mmh- sexually attracted to him. I just. I wanted to wait more than I wanted to have sex. That’s stupid.”

“That’s not!” Tony cut him off. “That’s not stupid!”

 

Tony was the only one here who wasn’t a virgin anymore. Honestly, Connor didn’t know if he valued his input on the discussion greatly, or not at all.

 

“Ok, listen to me Whis- Everyone is talking about how casual sex is great and all, but you need to remember that sex is precious, okay? That’s a moment you share with someone else. Some people enjoy it more by sharing the moment with a lot of people, because that’s what they find the most fun and the most blooming for them. Some enjoy it more by waiting for a special someone to do it, and think that if they only have sex with this person for their entire lives, they wouldn’t mind. And everyone in between, and some also don’t want to have sex at all. None of those options is better than another, okay? You do you. That’s what’s precious about it. If you wanna get Grindr and meet up with all the guys off the app, you do that. If you want to wait, you wait, even if that’s not the most common thing among gay guys. And, listen- you don’t need to find a guy that will share your values, okay? Just one that will respect them. There are probably a lot of them that don’t necessarily want to wait, but who wouldn’t mind to if it’s important to you. And that’s good for you too, little lady.”

 

Of course Tony deflected the attention away from Connor. He knew how uncomfortable he was right now. Connor smiled, turning towards the pond.

 

“Oh?” she asked, surprised to be addressed directly. “No, I don’t especially want to wait personally, but the other option is to talk to girls. So yeah. I’m single. And waiting.”

“You’re a disaster! I’m gonna set you up on a blind date- do you want to be set up in a blind date?”

“No! I’ll still have to talk during the date!”

“I know a girl- she’s got a motorcycle. An old vintage one, and a leather ja-”

“Okay, okay. I’m free next weekend. Now drop it.”

 

Connor chuckled at them. All his worries forgotten.

 

“And you, Whis? You want a blind date?” Tony asked.

“Not a single chance in hell.”

“Oooh… Why?”

“Because.”

“Tango, leave him alone. He maybe already has a crush on someone-”

 

Connor didn’t say anything at this. He just grew red in the face, and turned back towards the pond, his head in his hand.

 

“Oh my God you have got a crush.”

“I do not! You’re just embarrassing me!”

 “Whiskey likes a booooy-

“Nope!”

“Who? Who?! Do we know him?”

“I’ve talked enough for the next two weeks! Stop bothering me!”

 

Tony smacked him in the arm, playfully, and Ford on the shoulder.

Okay, he valued their input greatly.

Tony's day
Ford's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday morning. Not Tango’s favourite. Still, when his alarm rang at 4, he was up in less than a minute, and at his desk with a cup of coffee and a banana in three.

He had his Pol Sci essay to finish. The prof had given him a C- for the last one, even if Tango was a hundred percent certain that all that he had said was true and that he had stayed objective. He probably wouldn’t get a much better grade on this one, even if he knew that he wasn’t an idiot and that the prof was sacking him because she and Tango didn’t share their opinions at all.

If he wrote a perfect paper and still got a C-, he could probably report her. But it had to be good, and writing essays didn’t come as naturally to him as programming.

The paper was due next week; he finished the outline, began to write the draft of the introduction and the conclusion, and put it away to do his French packet and do his reading for his history class this morning.

His phone rang again. Six thirty. Time to go to morning practice. He changed his clothes, and by the time he was out of his building, Whiskey was only a few feet away, on his phone -probably to tell him to get the hell down.

 

“Hi Whis!”

“How can you be a decent human being when you just wake up,” Whiskey groaned.

“Mainly thanks to my happy-go-lucky take on life and my endearing naïveté.”

 

Practice was brutal. They had a game against Buffalo Saturday, and it was the last practice before that. The coaches didn’t let anything pass. Bitty didn’t let anything pass. They all wanted to win, and Tango had a lot of respect for Bitty. So he double-wanted to win for him.

 

After practice, Chowder stopped him on the way out of the shower, to ask him if he wanted to do the programming assignment with Dex and him.

 

“I finished it.”

“The prof sent it last night.”

“I did it this morning.”

“Tango, it’s twenty to nine.”

 

Tango just shrugged. He had stuff to do and places to be, this week-end. Of course he made sure his homework was done early.

 

Class was boring. He tried to listen, really, but the professor was reading her PowerPoint and she had already emailed said PowerPoint to the class. No need to say that Tango was already doing all the additional readings he could do on the subject, so he wasn’t that focused in class.

Plus, the group chat was lit right now.

SMH – Shake My Hottie

Bitty
> Who changed the name that’s bad

Ollie
> You’re bad

Wicks
> plus ur a hypocrite jack spentthe night we heard u you shakd ur hottiie alright

Nursey
> GG

Chowder
> GG

Foxtrot
> GG 💕

Bully
> GG 👍

Bitty
> I AM YOUR CAPTAIN 😡😡🤬😤😤
> NEXT ONE WHO MAKES A COMMENT GETS EXTRA LAPS
> AND NO PIE. THAT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD YALLLL THANK ME

Nursey
> yallll

Tango
>> and here is an example of why hierarchy is inherently bad and that there is no such thing as a Good Leader; give more power to one human over their peers and they’ll make a dictatorship, benevolent or not

Hops
> what

Dex
>  
look I found this pic I added the names and now it’s you

Tango
>> 😍😍
>> I mean that’s 0% what I said rn but yey it me!!!!!

 

WFT the highlights of the last falcs game

Whiskey
> Hey guys. What time do you finish class this morning

Foxtrot
> 11

Tango
>> ? 12 y

Whiskey
> I finish at 12 too.
> Can we meet for lunch?

Foxtrot
> Dinner hall?

Whiskey
> No, like. A sandwich and we sit somewhere outside

Tango
>> Sure bro

 

That was. Weird. Whiskey never requested to eat sandwiches. Outside. Like peasants. But Whiskey was a bit stand-offish… er lately.

The chats were dead by now, and so was the lesson. So Tango began some net researches about ghosts and spirits and demons. The little guys didn’t like salt and fire, who would have guessed? Tango couldn’t wait for the next investigation.

 

It kept him occupied until the end of class, and by noon, the three Tadpoles had bought sandwiches and salads, and they sat down near the Pond. It was beginning to get colder, and windier.

 

Ford began to tell them all about what her friends from drama did the day before. Whiskey didn’t seem to want to open his mouth, so Tango probed her with some questions. So that it wasn’t too silent and awkward.

Finally – finally! – he decided to talk, after the meals were long gone.

 

“Guys… I came out to my family yesterday.”

 

He was crying.  

 

“Oh, wow. How did it go?”

 

Bad. Tango and Ford did their best to calm and reassure him – and it seemed to work because when it was time to go back to class, he was smiling. As much as Whiskey usually smiled.

 

Ford left quickly, because she was going to be late for a meeting with the coaches, but before Whiskey and he parted ways, Tango stopped him.

 

“Hey, bro. If your family don’t come around to the fact by then, or you don’t want to see them – you’re spending Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parents’, okay? And all the next holidays and summer break if you want to.”

“But-”

“Shh,” Tango said, putting his finger on Whiskey’s mouth to shut him up. “Shut up you say nonsense.”

 

Whiskey smiled at that.

Good enough.

Connor's day
Ford's day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch with Whiskey had been draining. Ford knew that he was hurting, a lot. She just never realised how much. At least, finally, he had opened up a little.

Sometimes Ford wished she could just shake people awake so they spill all the pain they’re carrying on their shoulders, and she can put a blanket there instead. Sadly she was surrounded by boneheads. And she was one too.

 

She ignored the lack of notifications of her phone during the whole walk to Faber.

She had a job to do and equipment to help to prepare for the roadie tomorrow, and she would be damned if she didn’t do it correctly.

The coaches finally let her go by four, after that Bitty had come to give them a hand in the preparations. The both of them then made their way to the Haus together; Bitty showing her on his phone the cookies he planned to cook tonight for the bus trip to Buffalo the following day. He then swiped to a picture of a breed of rabbit he and Jack planned to adopt once he graduates. She got dibs on being the godmother.

Ford’s own phone stayed in her pocket.

It’s only once that they both reached the Haus and were working in the kitchen, him baking, her on the room assignments, that she couldn’t keep ignoring it.

 

She had sent a message to Kenzie, the day before. And one this morning, wishing her good luck, because Ford had seen on her Insta story that she had an interview this morning. Kenzie left her on read for both.

 

Guess Ford was one friend short, now.

 

It’s not like they had been besties since they were two.

 

So Ford began to focus on her fucking rooms list, because she had a fucking job to do and she would do it fucking well.

 

A bunch of the guys arrived at the same time, shortly after five, coming back from class. A noise that wasn’t just Bitty singing under his breath and the whisk on the bowl was welcome, please.

 

“I am just saying, Dex-” Nursey began, as they made their way to the kitchen, “that if you just applied for an internship-”

“An internship? When? I’m spending the summer working on a fucking boat, I don’t have time for an unpaid internship! And I can’t just snap my fingers and get an internship at my dad’s firm- oh, wait sorry, my dad’s partner’s firm. My dad takes care of the fish counter in the local supermarket for a dollar and a half above minimum wage-”

“-Oh, you know what, Poindexter? That’s not a reason to get all snappy; may I remind you what you said this morn-

“Hey, guys?” Chowder cut them off. “Shut the fuck up.”

 

With this, Chowder left the kitchen to go straight to the living-room. Nursey huffed and went upstairs, and Dex to the basement, slamming the door.

 

“I’m gonna grab one to hit the other,” Bitty sighed. “They’re going to kill each other by the end of the roadie.”

“In pure strength, Nursey would win,” Hops said. “But Dex is a Slytherin, so he’s got more than one trick up his sleeve.”

“Fox, did you plan to put them in the same room?” Whiskey asked.

 

Ford looked at her almost-done rooms list.

Yes, indeed, they were in the same room.

 

“Yep.”

“Don’t do that,” Whiskey said, as he grabbed a Gatorade in the fridge. “Just put me with Dex, that would be easier for everyone.”

“They don’t argue that much on roadies,” Ollie interjected. “It’s really at home that’s it’s bad.”

“’Not that much’ is already too much,” Whiskey contested.

They need to get over it! I’m rooming Nursey and Dex together, they’ll learn to tolerate each other just fine.
That’s no use. They can’t get along. Whiskey, you’re rooming with Dex, Nursey will be with Chowder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight long hours of bus. Eight hours. That is long. Especially in buses.

They had left shortly after noon, and Ford had sat right in front of Tango and Whiskey, hoping that they’ll manage to discreetly play Mario Kart on their DSes – discreetly, because they didn’t want to turn it into a full tournament with the whole team. Because the three of them still sucked so bad. They still needed to practice. A lot.

But seriously, the Tadpoles hadn’t wasted thousands of hours playing video games since they were kids, like the others had. They didn’t have their time.

 

Anyway Ford wanted to practice, because she finally had discovered how to drift, but the second the bus started, Tango (like three quarters of the team, really) fell asleep. Of course. Digestion. So Whiskey moved next to her instead, and they played a little but it wasn’t as fun without Tango falling from everywhere. So instead, they put on some music and shared earbuds.

Maybe they could catch some sleep too.

They were drifting, on and off, when an arm slowly made its way in between the seats- and Ford didn’t almost have a heart attack when she saw a hand holding a phone a few centimetres away from her face, thank you very much.

 

“Guys.”

“Tango I’m going to break you,” Whiskey gasped. “Never do that again.”

“Aren’t you sleeping?” Ford asked. “Can you go back to do that instead of terrifying us, please?”

“I woke up and I found this,” Tango said, shaking his phone to draw back the attention to it. “Look.”

 

Whiskey retrieved the phone and unlocked it. It was open on the web page of a very ugly blog that seemed like it hadn’t been updated since the early 2000’s.

 

“It is ‘haunted hyphen places hyphen newyork dot com’,” Tango explained, as he knelt on his seat so he could see better Ford and Whiskey. “Newyork in one word. And, look at what is on the list…”

“That’s our hotel,” Ford replied, not even looking at the phone.

“That’s our hotel,” Tango confirmed. “Listen. We’ve been quite unlucky regarding ghost hunt those past investigations-”

“Quite unlucky? We haven’t found any ghost since Mandy and Jenny,” Whiskey mumbled.

But, this? That’s great. We’re gonna hunt for this hotel’s ghosts, make a great video, and we’ll pass the milestone of the hundred subscribers.”

“We do not have our recording equipment, Tango,” Ford sighed.

“We do! We almost forgot it, so I put it in our suitcases right before we left.”

“Is that why my bag was so freaking heavy-

“And anyway, Tango,” Ford added. “There’s a game tomorrow morning. That’s why we’re on a roadie. We can’t just spend the night looking for ghosts. I mean, I wish we could? But we shouldn’t.”

“Buuuut- Foooxtroooot-”

“Tango.”

“What if we don’t spend the night? Just until curfew?”

“Tango. There’s a game tomorrow. We can’t spend the night looking for ghosts,” Whiskey said, with a tone that let no place to discussion. “Drop the subject.”

 

Tango asked again when the bus stopped in a rest area.

And again when they arrived around Buffalo.

Again when they were dropped in front of the hotel.

And once, when Whiskey and he reached their room.

 

“We’re not going to chase ghosts tonight,” Whiskey said, dropping his suitcase on his bed.

“I know you want to,” Tango replied, because Tango knew, and Whiskey didn’t want to see his shit-eating grin so he focused on going through his suitcase to look for what he needed for a well-deserved-shower.

“Yes, I’d very much like to spend an entertaining evening chasing ghosts with you and Ford. Because it’s not like we’ll have anything else to do. But it’s not wise, as we’re playing tomorrow morning.”

“Come oooooon, say yes-”

“Anthony Michael Tangredi. I said no.”

“Really, it’s just Tony. And my middle name isn’t Michael, what the hell, it’s Skylizard.”

 

Whiskey stopped to rummage through his suitcase to turn toward his friend.

 

“Are you kidding. Your parents let you choose the middle name ‘Skylizard’. No way. Skylizard? You know? That’s why we don’t usually let five-year-olds name themselves.”

“Actually I just changed my first name. Skylizard is my birth middle name.”

 

Whiskey looked at Tony -Tango, Michael, Skylizard, whatever, unimpressed. And then he turned back to his suitcase.

 

“Okay, you’re taking the piss out of me.”

“What? No!”

“Show me your ID,” Whiskey ordered, squinting at Tango.

“What, you’re a cop? I don’t think so. I know my rights.”

“Tony, I refuse to believe that your mother spent nine months growing you and then twenty hours pushing you out of herself to finally have you in her arms and then she said to your dad: ‘This kid? It’s a Skylizard.’ and he agreed with her.”

“Actually, he wanted ‘Skywalker’ and she wanted ‘Great Lizard’ so they compromised.”

“Tony. You are a liar. I know that. A big fat liar.”

 

Tango crossed his arms.

 

“And you know what? I’m going to tell you the truth. I’ll show you my ID, if we’re hunting ghosts tonight.”

“That’s blackmail.”

“Is it? I’m not compromising your life. I don’t threaten to leak any of your personal info to the world. If you refuse, nothing will change for you. Except that you will always have this doubt – is Tony’s middle name Skylizard? You will never know.”

 

Okay. Whiskey had lost.

 

“Okay! Okay. We’re going. I hate you.”

 

They joined Ford in her room. She was easy to convince -she wasn’t the one playing a game tomorrow. They also almost manage to do some research about the ghost! Almost, because then they got distracted by their 3DS and Mario Kart – but almost is already better than not at all.

So, after dinner at the hotel, the three of them discreetly slipped away while the rest of the team was deciding what to do and where to go (apparently there was a huge debate between catching the Falcs’ game in Nursey’s room or playing the Werewolves of Millers Hollow in Ollie and Wicks’) and they made their way to Ford’s room.

The hotel was old, and cranky, with ugly floral fabric everywhere and quite small -the team was on the first two floors, and according to the extensive research they’ve done on haunted hyphen places hyphen newyork dot com, the only source they’ve found about it being possibly haunted, the ghost would be on the seventh floor. There were only five of them, so the Tadpoles decided it meant it was floor number 5 that was haunted.

While Tango was busy trying to set up the camera (the settings were all over the place), Ford took out her phone.

No notification. She pocketed it back right away.

Whiskey took out his too, but there were messages waiting for him.

William, Connor

> Hi Conns help Nursey decided to host the game viewing in our room and I want to SLEEP
> im gonna kill him
> ‘just go play werewolves if you don’t wanna watch the game’ I want to SLEEP
> where are you I need support

>> Hi sorry. I just saw your texts. We’re actually going to shoot a video tonight
>> If you wanna join
>> Or if you wanna take my room card and squat tango and I’s room

> Don’t forget to ask one of the groups to cover you if the coaches ask where you are
> Anddon’t worry
> I may or may not have kicked nursey out so now they’re watching the game in chowder and bitty’s room
> for the record I did NOT scream like a banshee

  

“Bitty just sent me a text to tell me Dex screamed like a banshee and kicked Nursey out of their room,” Ford sighed.

“I told you not to put them together,” Whiskey said, pocketing his phone.

“I hate that, I know that they can be friendly when they try.”

“Maybe we should let them try when they want to and not force it.”

 

They finally helped Tango to finish setting up the cameras, and they went back to their respective rooms to be in bed when the coaches checked the rooms after curfew. Once the coast was clear, it was already almost eleven; so they took two packs of candy, a Thermos, and they slowly made their way to the last floor -making sure to be extra quiet when they walked past the coaches’ room.

 

There were no occupied rooms on the last floor, so no risk of bumping into another guest. And of course, none of the rooms were opened, so no way to check inside, but there was a nook, with ugly couches and a vase full of dead flowers.

 

“At least, we know where to sit when we’ll be bored walking up and down the hallway,” Whiskey said.

“I’m already bored. Can we sit?” Ford asked.

“No! We need to look around.”

“Tango.”

“There’s some vodka-Red Bull in the thermos in my bag.”

 

Tango, you need to share relevant information right away.

 

So, it’s with a good gulp of alcohol in the stomach that the three began to look around – and they were very thorough, as always, looking under the couches, behind the paintings, inside the vases. They probably managed to find enough dust to transmute a whole human body, though.

Ford and Whiskey quickly gave up and sat on the sofa, looking at Tango still searching around while they shared the thermos.

 

“Hey ghosts… It’s ya boy, Tango…”

“Try to say it with Mario’s voice,” Whiskey proposed.

It’s ya boooooi, Taaango…”

 

He didn’t manage to make a ghost appear, but he managed to make Whiskey snicker and Ford chuckle, so not all was in vain. But after a quarter of an hour with absolutely nothing interesting happening, that was too much, even for him, so he flopped on the floral-pattern armchair that smelt funny, right across Ford and Whiskey.

 

“There’s a serious lack of ghost for ghost-hunting escapades,” he said.

“But there’s that,” Ford replied, throwing the thermos of vodka at him.

“Foxtrot, I love you.”

 

There were no ghosts maybe, but sharing drinks in a tiny nook of a decrepit hotel was a bit like a sleepover party. Around midnight, Ford proposed to play Truth or Truth (all of them being too lazy to get up to do a dare), and that quickly dissolved into a philosophical debate.

 

“But the question is. Guys. Listen to me, okay? Because it’s important.”

 

The grave and serious tone that Tango was taking let his friends know that it probably wasn’t that important.

 

“Did you know that bleach didn’t burn? I learn that in chemistry class the other day,” he said.

“Bro why would we care about whether if bleach burn or not,” Whiskey asked.

 

Indeed. Tango thought for a few seconds, and then he asked, totally out of the blue:

 

“Would you fuck a ghost?”

“Oh God-” Ford muttered.

“No I would not fuck a ghost?” Whiskey replied, scandalised. “I already have a hard time fucking someone alive-

“Yes, but it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity-”

“I would not fuck a ghost either!” Ford yelped in shock. “This is wrong, and bad!”

“I would totally fuck a ghost,” Tango said, completely ignoring her. “You know what? I would even fuck two ghosts -but not at the same time.”

“No offense but I definitely would say no.”

 

Slowly. Really slowly. The Tadpoles raised their heads to see, a few metres away from them, floating above the ground, a pale, translucid lady all in white with long, dark hair and fully black eyes.

Ford immediately grabbed Whiskey’s arm and crushed it as hard as she could to not scream. Whiskey had totally frozen, just opening his mouth because he was that flabbergasted.

And Tango? Well, Tango did a goddamn double take, gauging the ghost from head to toe.

 

“Yeah, I would have passed this one anyway,” he motherfucking said, shrugging.

“Tango,” Ford managed to say, her eyes stuck on the ghost. Maybe the ghost was looking back, how could she know, she literally had black instead of eyes-

“What? We need to be real for a second here.”

“There a whole ghost behind you how much more real can things get to you-”

 

The ghost ignored Ford squealing and got closer to them. Floating.

Seriously Mandy and Jenny were nice and quirky, that was a demon from hell.

Honestly, ghost hunting was all fun and games, until you found yourself in the same room as a ghost.

 

“Hi Miss Ghost,” Tango said. Because Tango was drunk and didn’t understand the concept of danger. “Care to participate in the debate?”

“Yes,” the ghost said, and she wasn’t opening her mouth because, OH, she didn’t have a mouth to open, but her voice was cold and icy and resonating in everyone’s bones.

“Ok, sit down, there’s room.”

 

And she goddamn sat down on the sofa, next to Ford.

Well, not too next to Ford, because she scrambled on Whiskey’s lap in fear – and let’s be real, Whiskey was really happy to have a human shield between himself and this creature of Satan.

Tango didn’t seem half-bothered by this young dead transparent lady sitting straight and moving only waaaay too slowly or WAY too quick. Sometimes, Whiskey wished he was Tango.

 

“Hi miss ghost!”

“Hi. I just wanna talk.”

 

Ok, she didn’t seem like she was going to kill them right now. Ford peeled herself away from Whiskey’s lap, slowly, and not confident (Whiskey whined in despair at the loss of his human shield), but if Miss Ghost wanted to talk, then maybe the best way to stay alive would be to talk. Plus that would make a great video.

Think of the viewers, Ford.

 

“Miss ghost, would you fuck a human?” Tango asked.

“Tony you can’t just-”

“I wouldn’t fuck a human,” the ghost said, “because why would I? You’re all so… No.”

“That’s not really nice,” Ford said, frowning.

You said you wouldn’t fuck a ghost,” the ghost told her. “You’re not fucking supernatural creatures, there’s no reason for a supernatural creature to want to fuck you.”

“I never said I wouldn’t do that… I just said that ghosts are a no.”

“So other supernatural creatures are on the table?” Tango asked.

“I don’t know? Maybe? Let me think about it?”

“I would fuck a Dracula,” Whiskey chimed in.

“Pale, moody, live alone in dark basements?” the ghost asked.

“Perfect boy.”

“I wouldn’t fuck a Dracula,” Tango said. “Or maybe I would? But I wouldn’t fuck a werewolf.”

“Yeah, me neither,” Whiskey replied, and the ghost nodded too.

“I don’t know,” Ford tried. “I would totally fuck a werewolf.”

 

The guys turned towards her. And they frowned. And squinted a little.

 

“Ford…”

“Ford, you’re a furry?” Whiskey asked.

“I am not a furry!”

“You just said you would fuck a werewolf!” Tango said.

“Yes! It doesn’t mean I’m a furry!”

“You wouldn’t fuck a ghost, you wouldn’t fuck a Dracula, but you would fuck a werewolf? Girl, you’re a furry.”

“No!”

 

Miss ghost was pretty okay, in the end. She wasn’t talking much but she seemed happy to listen to them; she probably rarely had people noticing her. So that’s why Ford felt a bit conflicted when she reminded Tango and Whiskey that it was one AM, and they had a game tomorrow, and thus, it was more than time to go to bed.

Tango: Go to bed? When we’re talking with a GHOST, Ford? You’re kidding, right? I’m never sleeping ever again.
Whiskey: Oh, yes. Sorry, miss ghost; that was nice meeting you, but we’ve gotta go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight long hours of bus. Eight hours. That is long. Especially in buses.

They had left shortly after noon, and Ford had sat right in front of Tango and Whiskey, hoping that they’ll manage to discreetly play Mario Kart on their DSes – discreetly, because they didn’t want to turn it into a full tournament with the whole team. Because the three of them still sucked so bad. They still needed to practice. A lot.

But seriously, the Tadpoles hadn’t wasted thousands of hours playing video games since they were kids, like the others had. They didn’t have their time.

 

Anyway Ford wanted to practice, because she finally had discovered how to drift, but the second the bus started, Tango (like three quarters of the team, really) fell asleep. Of course. Digestion. So Whiskey moved next to her instead, and they played a little but it wasn’t as fun without Tango falling from everywhere. So instead, they put on some music and shared earbuds.

Maybe they could catch some sleep too.

They were drifting, on and off, when an arm slowly made its way in between the seats- and Ford didn’t almost have a heart attack when she saw a hand holding a phone a few centimetres away from her face, thank you very much.

 

“Guys.”

“Tango I’m going to break you,” Whiskey gasped. “Never do that again.”

“Aren’t you sleeping?” Ford asked. “Can you go back to do that instead of terrifying us, please?”

“I woke up and I found this,” Tango said, shaking his phone to draw back the attention to it. “Look.”

 

Whiskey retrieved the phone and unlocked it. It was open on the web page of a very ugly blog that seemed like it hadn’t been updated since the early 2000’s.

 

“It is ‘haunted hyphen places hyphen newyork dot com’,” Tango explained, as he knelt on his seat so he could see better Ford and Whiskey. “Newyork in one word. And, look at what is on the list…”

“That’s our hotel,” Ford replied, not even looking at the phone.

“That’s our hotel,” Tango confirmed. “Listen. We’ve been quite unlucky regarding ghost hunt those past investigations-”

“Quite unlucky? We haven’t found any ghost since Mandy and Jenny,” Whiskey mumbled.

But, this? That’s great. We’re gonna hunt for this hotel’s ghosts, make a great video, and we’ll pass the milestone of the hundred subscribers.”

“We do not have our recording equipment, Tango,” Ford sighed.

“We do! We almost forgot it, so I put it in our suitcases right before we left.”

“Is that why my bag was so freaking heavy-

“And anyway, Tango,” Ford added. “There’s a game tomorrow morning. That’s why we’re on a roadie. We can’t just spend the night looking for ghosts. I mean, I wish we could? But we shouldn’t.”

“Buuuut- Foooxtroooot-”

“Tango.”

“What if we don’t spend the night? Just until curfew?”

“Tango. There’s a game tomorrow. We can’t spend the night looking for ghosts,” Whiskey said, with a tone that let no place to discussion. “Drop the subject.”

 

Tango asked again when the bus stopped in a rest area.

And again when they arrived around Buffalo.

Again when they were dropped in front of the hotel.

At least, Connor had been able to bail out away from him once he got the card to go to his room, that he was sharing with Dex.

He made a beeline to the bed next to the window, while William went to the bathroom the second he dropped his bag on the floor – he had some day explained to Connor that the first and only thing he wanted to do after a bus trip was to shower, and honestly, Connor understood him.

So, waiting for the bathroom to be free, Connor pulled out his phone.

FTW 2 the F4

Tango
> Whiskey
> Hey, Whiskey

Whiskey
>> No

Tango
>

Whiskey
>> OH GOD OKAY
>> But I’m telling you Tony, there’s a non-zero chance that one of the few murders will be me killing you

Tango
> that’s fair.

Foxtrot
> That’s a beautiful way to go.

 

Connor threw his arm over his eyes, and began to groan in despair. What? What did he do to deserve friends like that?

That’s how William found him when he got out of the bathroom, already dressed in comfier sweatpants and a T-shirt.

 

“The hell?” he asked, as he put his dirty clothes in his suitcase.

Tony,” Connor just said, because it was the cause, the consequence and the explanation all in one.

“You love him still,” William shrugged.

 

Well. That was true. Tango was maybe annoying as heck sometimes, but that didn’t mean that Whiskey didn’t love him dearly and they weren’t best friends. Connor told William -who had come over to sit on his bed where he was lying, right next to him- as much.

 

“Ok, so, hmm- stop me if I’m wrong, but, Conn…” William began, and he was red in the face. Connor already knew what he was about to ask.

“No, we’re not together. No way in hell. Even if he wasn’t straight, I wouldn’t even want to get together with him. We’d kill each other.”

“You think so? You work well together as friends, even if your personalities clash. I don’t know how you even do it.”

“I don’t know either, to be honest. I guess friendship is more about compatibility than about similarities. Sometimes, you just don’t fit with people.”

 

William groaned at that, and he sat more comfortably against the wall – stretching his legs over Whiskey’s, because honestly, he didn’t have any kind of room to work with.

 

“Don’t tell me. It’s a miracle Nurse and I haven’t punched each other yet.”

“Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is forcing you two to try to be friends. It’s pissing you off, it’s pissing Nursey off, the more we try to force you the worse you work together on the ice.”

“Well. I’m not in his room tonight, and if we aren’t forced to interact today, we’ll probably do a good job tomorrow.”

“I’m glad I’m in your room then,” Connor said, smiling.

“I’m glad I’m in your room, too,” William replied, smiling also.

 

They joined the rest of the team for dinner, and after this, the three Tadpoles discreetly slipped away while the rest of the team was deciding what to do and where to go (apparently there was a huge debate between catching the Falcs’ game in Nursey’s room or playing the Werewolves of Millers Hollow in Ollie and Wicks’) and they made their way to Ford’s room.

The hotel was old, and cranky, with ugly floral fabric everywhere and quite small -the team was on the first two floors, and according to the extensive research they’ve done on haunted hyphen places hyphen newyork dot com, the only source they’ve found about it being possibly haunted, the ghost would be on the seventh floor. There were only five of them, so the Tadpoles decided it meant it was floor number 5 that was haunted.

While Tango was busy trying to set up the camera (the settings were all over the place), Ford took out her phone.

No notification. She pocketed it back right away.

Whiskey took out his too, but there were messages waiting for him.

William, Connor

> Just to say I’ll be probably sleeping already when you come back
> Try to not make too much noise please

>> Don’t worry
>> You’re not watching the game?
>> You could come with us if you want

> I’m just exhausted haah
> I’ve got enough weird-ass experiences by living in the basement

>> We’ve got candy

> you sound like a creep who wants to get a kid to get in his white van

>> Oh. Uh.
>> Saying you’ve got candies always works on Tango?
>> I don’t know what that says about him. We should give him a crashcourse about not following perverts into their nondescript cars

> lol
> anyway don’t worry for me just gonna sleep early
> if the coaches come to check the rooms I’ll cover you but you owe me a coffee

>> haha okay
>> sleep wel

 

“Dex is already going to bed and is covering me if the coaches come,” Whiskey said.

“Great,” Ford replied. “Just hide in the bathroom here when the coaches are going around the rooms for curfew.”

 

They finally helped Tango to finish setting up the cameras, and he went back to his own room before the coaches caught him out of it. Once the coast was clear, it was already almost eleven; so they took two packs of candy, a Thermos, and they slowly made their way to the last floor -making sure to be extra quiet when they walked past the coaches’ room.

There were no occupied rooms on the last floor, so no risk of bumping into another guest. And of course, none of the rooms were opened, so no way to check inside, but there was a nook, with ugly couches and a vase full of dead flowers.

 

“At least, we know where to sit when we’ll be bored walking up and down the hallway,” Whiskey said.

“I’m already bored. Can we sit?” Ford asked.

“No! We need to look around.”

“Tango.”

“There’s some vodka-Red Bull in the thermos in my bag.”

 

Tango, you need to share relevant information right away.

 

So, it’s with a good gulp of alcohol in the stomach that the three began to look around – and they were very thorough, as always, looking under the couches, behind the paintings, inside the vases. They probably managed to find enough dust to transmute a whole human body, though.

Ford and Whiskey quickly gave up and sat on the sofa, looking at Tango still searching around while they shared the thermos.

 

“Hey ghosts… It’s ya boy, Tango…”

“Try to say it with Mario’s voice,” Whiskey proposed.

It’s ya boooooi, Taaango…”

 

He didn’t manage to make a ghost appear, but he managed to make Whiskey snicker and Ford chuckle, so not all was in vain. But after a quarter of an hour with absolutely nothing interesting happening, that was too much, even for him, so he flopped on the floral-pattern armchair that smelt funny, right across Ford and Whiskey.

 

“There’s a serious lack of ghost for ghost-hunting escapades,” he said.

“But there’s that,” Ford replied, throwing the thermos of vodka at him.

“Foxtrot, I love you.”

 

There were no ghosts maybe, but sharing drinks in a tiny nook of a decrepit hotel was a bit like a sleepover party. Around midnight, Ford proposed to play Truth or Truth (all of them being too lazy to get up to do a dare), and that quickly dissolved into a philosophical debate.

 

“But the question is. Guys. Listen to me, okay? Because it’s important.”

 

The grave and serious tone that Tango was taking let his friends know that it probably wasn’t that important.

 

“Did you know that bleach didn’t burn? I learn that in chemistry class the other day,” he said.

“Bro why would we care about whether if bleach burn or not,” Whiskey asked.

 

Indeed. Tango thought for a few seconds, and then he asked, totally out of the blue:

 

“Would you fuck a ghost?”

“Oh God-” Ford muttered.

“No I would not fuck a ghost?” Whiskey replied, scandalised. “I already have a hard time fucking someone alive-

“Yes, but it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity-”

“I would not fuck a ghost either!” Ford yelped in shock. “This is wrong, and bad!”

“I would totally fuck a ghost,” Tango said, completely ignoring her. “You know what? I would even fuck two ghosts -but not at the same time.”

“No offense but I definitely would say no.”

 

Slowly. Really slowly. The Tadpoles raised their heads to see, a few metres away from them, floating above the ground, a pale, translucid lady all in white with long, dark hair and fully black eyes.

Ford immediately grabbed Whiskey’s arm and crushed it as hard as she could to not scream. Whiskey had totally frozen, just opening his mouth because he was that flabbergasted.

And Tango? Well, Tango did a goddamn double take, gauging the ghost from head to toe.

 

“Yeah, I would have passed this one anyway,” he motherfucking said, shrugging.

“Tango,” Ford managed to say, her eyes stuck on the ghost. Maybe the ghost was looking back, how could she know, she literally had black instead of eyes-

“What? We need to be real for a second here.”

“There a whole ghost behind you how much more real can things get to you-”

 

The ghost ignored Ford squealing and got closer to them. Floating.

Seriously Mandy and Jenny were nice and quirky, that was a demon from hell.

Honestly, ghost hunting was all fun and games, until you found yourself in the same room as a ghost.

 

“Hi Miss Ghost,” Tango said. Because Tango was drunk and didn’t understand the concept of danger. “Care to participate in the debate?”

“Yes,” the ghost said, and she wasn’t opening her mouth because, OH, she didn’t have a mouth to open, but her voice was cold and icy and resonating in everyone’s bones.

“Ok, sit down, there’s room.”

 

And she goddamn sat down on the sofa, next to Ford.

Well, not too next to Ford, because she scrambled on Whiskey’s lap in fear – and let’s be real, Whiskey was really happy to have a human shield between himself and this creature of Satan.

Tango didn’t seem half-bothered by this young dead transparent lady sitting straight and moving only waaaay too slowly or WAY too quick. Sometimes, Whiskey wished he was Tango.

 

“Hi miss ghost!”

“Hi. I just wanna talk.”

 

Ok, she didn’t seem like she was going to kill them right now. Ford peeled herself away from Whiskey’s lap, slowly, and not confident (Whiskey whined in despair at the loss of his human shield), but if Miss Ghost wanted to talk, then maybe the best way to stay alive would be to talk. Plus that would make a great video.

Think of the viewers, Ford.

 

“Miss ghost, would you fuck a human?” Tango asked.

“Tony you can’t just-”

“I wouldn’t fuck a human,” the ghost said, “because why would I? You’re all so… No.”

“That’s not really nice,” Ford said, frowning.

You said you wouldn’t fuck a ghost,” the ghost told her. “You’re not fucking supernatural creatures, there’s no reason for a supernatural creature to want to fuck you.”

“I never said I wouldn’t do that… I just said that ghosts are a no.”

“So other supernatural creatures are on the table?” Tango asked.

“I don’t know? Maybe? Let me think about it?”

“I would fuck a Dracula,” Whiskey chimed in.

“Pale, moody, live alone in dark basements?” the ghost asked.

“Perfect boy.”

“I wouldn’t fuck a Dracula,” Tango said. “Or maybe I would? But I wouldn’t fuck a werewolf.”

“Yeah, me neither,” Whiskey replied, and the ghost nodded too.

“I don’t know,” Ford tried. “I would totally fuck a werewolf.”

 

The guys turned towards her. And they frowned. And squinted a little.

 

“Ford…”

“Ford, you’re a furry?” Whiskey asked.

“I am not a furry!”

“You just said you would fuck a werewolf!” Tango said.

“Yes! It doesn’t mean I’m a furry!”

“You wouldn’t fuck a ghost, you wouldn’t fuck a Dracula, but you would fuck a werewolf? Girl, you’re a furry.”

“No!”

 

Miss ghost was pretty okay, in the end. She wasn’t talking much but she seemed happy to listen to them; she probably rarely had people noticing her. So that’s why Ford felt a bit conflicted when she reminded Tango and Whiskey that it was one AM, and they had a game tomorrow, and thus, it was more than time to go to bed.

 

Tango: Go to bed? When we’re talking with a GHOST, Ford? You’re kidding, right? I’m never sleeping ever again.
Whiskey: Oh, yes. Sorry, miss ghost; that was nice meeting you, but we’ve gotta go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We cannot go to bed, Fox,” Tango said, horrified. “There’s a ghost here.”

“I like talking with you,” the ghost said.

“Look! She’s so nice.”

“I’m going to haunt your rooms if you leave me,” the ghost added.

“We can’t risk that,” Ford sighed, because, to be honest, it was so interesting to talk to the ghost when she wasn’t being called a furry.

 

Sadly, they should have risked that. There were bad ideas in this world, and in all honesty, not sleeping one blink the day before a morning Hockey game was the worst of all. Whiskey and Tango yawned all the way to the rink, and while they were changing, and during warm-ups.

No need to say that the game was a catastrophe. Ford fell asleep on the bench, and the only thing that had stopped Tango doing the exact same was Ollie nudging him every five seconds to keep him up.

They lost, 3-1, because Whiskey didn’t even notice all the pucks that were thrown his way by Bitty.

The moment Tango and Whiskey got out of the locker room, both coaches were right there, arms crossed, and they led them to an office where Ford was already waiting for them.

To say that they got an earful would be a lack of respect for all the earfuls out there. They did try to defend themselves, but it was quite clear that they had spent the entire night out of their rooms, doing God knows what – but not sleeping, that was for sure.

 

“There are rules, regarding curfew. We’re suspending you for the next two games,” Coach Hall said.

“And if we ever find you out of your room again – or, breaking into, I don’t know, Founders, or another school building at night, be sure that bigger sanctions will be taken,” Coach Murray added. “I’m disappointed. Connor, how do you plan on explaining why you’re suspended to any teams scouting you?”

 

The Tadpoles left the office, their heads low.

 

“I think they know about the YouTube channel,” Tango said.

“Really? You found out all by yourself or you needed help?” Whiskey snapped.

“Hey, you calm down,” Ford ordered.

“I fucking knew this stupid channel was a bad idea,” Whiskey said, turning away from the others. “It’s bringing us more trouble than good. I’m out.”

“Bro…”

“I’m out.”

 

Whiskey walked away, towards the bus.

 

The channel never made it to the hundred subscribers before it closed.

 

And it's the Ending F for you! You got that far! I'm curious about the choices you made to get here; but maybe you could try again, and visit Faber instead of the Casa or vice-versa? There's probably hints everywhere...

 

Back to the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They won the game, 3-2!

Tango had been a bit disappointed that they didn’t get to talk more with the ghost, but she had been as understanding as one could expect from a lonely ghost, and Ford had promised her that they would visit her sometime during next summer.

Whiskey had other plans during summer than visiting Buffalo but hey. When was the last time someone asked him his opinion. Well Tango did ask him his opinion about everything ten times a day and so did Ford, but honestly, Buffalo.

 

They came back home on Saturday night, got roped into a Kegster at the Haus, and before they knew it it was Sunday afternoon, they were half-hungover and Whiskey and Ford had a metric ton of homework to do.

Not Tango. Tango seemed like he never had any homework.

Still, the Tadpoles all met in his room at one in the afternoon, with their sunglasses on because they were in this much pain and with pizza and soda under their arms, because it was the best place to work. There was a bed. And a beanbag. Was there a beanbag at Founders? No, and they should know, they spent the night there.

While Whiskey and Ford began to do their homework, Tango sat himself at the desk to begin the editing of the video of Buffalo.

 

After ten minutes of him going through the different SD cards, plugging the cameras and mics directly to the laptop and all, he swallowed, loud enough for the others to hear him, and he said:

 

“Guys. We didn’t record anything.”

“What?”

“We forgot the mics and a camera in Ford’s room and we didn’t turn on the one we had with us.”

“Tango are you joking,” Whiskey said, slowly.

“There was a ghost! We spoke with her! And you’re telling us we forgot to record it? Tango? Are you kidding? We could have had, like, at least two hundred subscribers with this!”

“I don’t know Ford! I thought about bringing the alcohol, I thought you were taking care of the mics!”

“Oh God,” she sighed, discarding her notes. “We didn’t record anything.”

 

Whiskey got up from the bed, and went up to the desk to sit on the second chair and look at the laptop - and the empty folder where the precious rushes should be, if they hadn’t been a bunch of idiots.

 

“Now what?”

“Well, too bad, let’s look for another ghost and make sure that we turn on the camera,” Tango shrugged. “There’s not much we can do. For once that we found a ghost! She probably wouldn’t have minded being filmed like Mandy and Jenny do – but no, we never manage to find ghosts, whenever we visit so-called ‘haunted’ places… They never want to come out.”

“They don’t like us calling for them perhaps? Maybe if we bore the ghosts to death they will come,” Whiskey said.

“Maybe if I shut up and stop being annoying as hell they will come,” Tango added, eyes on the ceiling.

 

There was a moment of silence. Ford looked at Whiskey, who looked at her with concern.

The tone Tango used had become way too real.

Gently, Ford tried to talk, a bit hesitant.

 

“Mmh, Tang… You okay?”

“Yeah. Just frustrated.”

“Yes, but… Did someone… Tell you something?”

“Yes. No. I mean, not more than usual. I forgot to record the last ghost-hunt. Ollie snapped at me at dinner because I asked too many questions. Someone said ‘Tango, don’t’ before I even got to explain something I read in a political essay. Yesterday a prof just ignored me every time I raised my hand. I know I’m annoying and people are tired of me asking questions and me being like ‘that’, whatever ‘being like that’ means. I guess I need to try to learn to shut up, but-”

“Tango never let anyone tell you to shut up because you're annoying,” Whiskey cut him out. “Because yes, you're annoying, but you shouldn't shut up because of that.”

 

Ford looked at Whiskey with a scandalised look, and hit him in the arm. Seriously?

 

“What? It’s true. You’re curious and ask a lot of questions and you have very set political ideas. That doesn’t mean you should change or let people tell you to stop talking. That just means that you need to surround yourself with people who don’t mind. We all should be more like you. It’s important to be curious and to have an interest about politics. At the end of the day, if people find it annoying, that’s too bad for them.”

 

He took a few seconds, and then added:

 

“Look at me, I’m boring as hell but you don’t see me changing to please other people.”

“Whiskey, you’re not boring!” Tango gasped.

“I am and that’s okay, have you not heard one thing about what I said?”

“Okay, you are a bit boring. But you’re still cool. And Ford is half-boring, half-annoying, so everything is perfectly balanced.”

 

Ford raised her eyebrows at that, not exactly sure what warranted that gratuitous comment.

 

“We still love you, Ford,” Whiskey reassured her.

 

That did reassure her. She loved her boys too, after all.

 

“And, Tango, the forgetting to record thing isn’t all on you,” Ford said. “We also forgot to do it… I’m just disappointed. I wanted to remember a good thing from this trip, at least, something that wasn’t having to play referee with Nursey and Dex…”

“I told you not to put them together. You forcing things won’t make them friends,” Whiskey said.

“I’m trying to resolve the unresolved sexual tension that is hurting the whole team here,” Ford shrugged.

 

Whiskey didn’t say anything, turning back towards the laptop, where Tango had opened a tab about local haunted places.

Well. No one was talking, time to fill the silence.

 

“So, uh,” Tango proposed. “I saw something about a haunted swimming-pool in Boston, and about an abandoned elementary school…”

Next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They won the game, 3-2!

Tango had been a bit disappointed that they didn’t get to talk more with the ghost, but she had been as understanding as one could expect from a lonely ghost, and Ford had promised her that they would visit her sometime during next summer.

Whiskey had other plans during summer than visiting Buffalo but hey. When was the last time someone asked him his opinion. Well Tango did ask him his opinion about everything ten times a day and so did Ford, but honestly, Buffalo.

 

They came back home on Saturday night, got roped into a Kegster at the Haus, and before they knew it it was Sunday afternoon, they were half-hungover and Whiskey and Ford had a metric ton of homework to do.

Not Tango. Tango seemed like he never had any homework.

Still, the Tadpoles all met in his room at one in the afternoon, with their sunglasses on because they were in this much pain and with pizza and soda under their arms, because it was the best place to work. There was a bed. And a beanbag. Was there a beanbag at Founders? No, and they should know, they spent the night there.

While Whiskey and Ford began to do their homework, Tango sat himself at the desk to begin the editing of the video of Buffalo.

 

After ten minutes of him going through the different SD cards, plugging the cameras and mics directly to the laptop and all, he swallowed, loud enough for the others to hear him, and he said:

 

“Guys. We didn’t record anything.”

“What?”

“We forgot the mics and a camera in Ford’s room and we didn’t turn on the one we had with us.”

“Tango are you joking,” Whiskey said, slowly.

“There was a ghost! We spoke with her! And you’re telling us we forgot to record it? Tango? Are you kidding? We could have had, like, at least two hundred subscribers with this!”

“I don’t know Ford! I thought about bringing the alcohol, I thought you were taking care of the mics!”

“Oh God,” she sighed, discarding her notes. “We didn’t record anything.”

 

Whiskey got up from the bed, and went up to the desk to sit on the second chair and look at the laptop - and the empty folder where the precious rushes should be, if they hadn’t been a bunch of idiots.

 

“Now what?”

“Well, too bad, let’s look for another ghost and make sure that we turn on the camera,” Tango shrugged. “There’s not much we can do. For once that we found a ghost! She probably wouldn’t have minded being filmed like Mandy and Jenny do – but no, we never manage to find ghosts, whenever we visit so-called ‘haunted’ places… They never want to come out.”

“They don’t like us calling for them perhaps? Maybe if we bore the ghosts to death they will come,” Whiskey said.

“Maybe if I shut up and stop being annoying as hell they will come,” Tango added, eyes on the ceiling.

 

There was a moment of silence. Ford looked at Whiskey, who looked at her with concern.

The tone Tango used had become way too real.

Gently, Ford tried to talk, a bit hesitant.

 

“Mmh, Tang… You okay?”

“Yeah. Just frustrated.”

“Yes, but… Did someone… Tell you something?”

“Yes. No. I mean, not more than usual. I forgot to record the last ghost-hunt. Ollie snapped at me at dinner because I asked too many questions. Someone said ‘Tango, don’t’ before I even got to explain something I read in a political essay. Yesterday a prof just ignored me every time I raised my hand. I know I’m annoying and people are tired of me asking questions and me being like ‘that’, whatever ‘being like that’ means. I guess I need to try to learn to shut up, but-”

“Tango never let anyone tell you to shut up because you're annoying,” Whiskey cut him out. “Because yes, you're annoying, but you shouldn't shut up because of that.”

 

Ford looked at Whiskey with a scandalised look, and hit him in the arm. Seriously?

 

“What? It’s true. You’re curious and ask a lot of questions and you have very set political ideas. That doesn’t mean you should change or let people tell you to stop talking. That just means that you need to surround yourself with people who don’t mind. We all should be more like you. It’s important to be curious and to have an interest about politics. At the end of the day, if people find it annoying, that’s too bad for them.”

 

He took a few seconds, and then added:

 

“Look at me, I’m boring as hell but you don’t see me changing to please other people.”

“Whiskey, you’re not boring!” Tango gasped.

“I am and that’s okay, have you not heard one thing about what I said?”

“Okay, you are a bit boring. But you’re still cool. And Ford is half-boring, half-annoying, so everything is perfectly balanced.”

 

Ford raised her eyebrows at that, not exactly sure what warranted that gratuitous comment.

 

“We still love you, Ford,” Whiskey reassured her.

 

That did reassure her. She loved her boys too, after all.

 

“And, Tango, the forgetting to record thing isn’t all on you,” Ford said. “We also forgot to do it… I’m just disappointed. I wanted to remember a good thing from this trip, at least…”

“It could have been worse,” Whiskey said. “You could have had to break fights between Nursey and Dex all day long.”

“That is true,” Ford agreed, finger-gunning at him. “They were actually civil to each other, for once.”

“Well you never listen when I tell you not to force them together... It doesn’t work.”

“Would you mind being more regularly paired up with Dex in roadies? You seem to work well together.

 

Whiskey shrugged, and turned back towards the laptop.

 

“No, I wouldn’t mind. He’s a cool roomie.”

“Cool. Cool cool cool cool. I’d still like to find a way for Dex and Nursey to get along, though. I don’t understand them,” Ford sighed. “There’s clearly sexual tension here.”

“There’s only tension, Ford,” Whiskey gritted.

 

Tango frowned at them, lost in his thoughts.

Tango: Yes, you’re right Ford. But in the meantime they’re so infuriating!
Tango: Oh my GOD I cracked the code! WHIS, REALLY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I know, Ford… Sometimes I just want to lock them in a closet until they get their heads out of their butts,” Tango groaned.

“Worse idea,” Whiskey replied, not missing a beat.

“I know. But still.”

 

No one was saying a word. So Tango focused on his laptop, where he had opened a tab on a website talking about local haunted places.

 

“So, uh,” he proposed. “I saw something about a haunted swimming-pool in Boston, and about an abandoned elementary school…”

 

Next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Holy macaroni! Whiskey!”

“What now?” he asked, confused.

“You have a crush on Dex.

 

Whiskey, who had his eyes on Tango, looked away hurriedly, and tried to hide his face as much as he could.

Ford was gobsmacked.

 

“What?”

“It all makes sense now! You’ve got a crush on Dex!

“I do not have a crush on Dex!”

“You do!”

“I don’t!”

“You do!”

“I don’t!”

You do!”

“Okay, I do.”

 

Tango was about to continue to argue more, because really, he didn’t expect to have Whiskey admit it so easily.

 

“I do have a crush on Dex. Now what.”

You have a crush on Dex?” Ford repeated, her head in her hands.

“Now you should tell him,” Tango said, jumping on his feet because there was just too much excitement for his tiny body.

“I don’t know if he likes me back.”

“You won’t know if you don’t tell him!”

 

Whiskey took a few seconds to ponder this.

 

“Yeah, you’re right. I’m gonna tell him.”

 

Ford blinked at that, while Tango proceeded to high-five Whiskey.

 

“Just like that? You’re going to confess to your crush – just like that?” she asked. “Meanwhile, I’m just physically unable to talk to cute girls?”

“There’s a non-zero chance he likes you back, I think” Tango reassured him. “Like, your haircut leaves a lot to be desired, but that would be hypocritical of Dex regarding haircuts.”

“Don’t listen to him! You’re not that bad looking!” Ford cut him off. “Like. Maybe. Try to look less preppy when you go talk to him…”

“Guys. Seriously. Are you working with me or against me here?” Whiskey groaned.

“Whiskey, we’re working with what God has given you and sadly, that is not much,” Tango said, a hand under his chin because he needed all the support he had to assess the damage.

“Y’all shut up. I know I’m beautiful. You just can’t appreciate masculine beauty.”

 

Whiskey was rolling his eyes, but he was smiling a bit and blushing. To be honest, neither Ford or Tango had ever seen him like this.

 

“Whis and Dex sitting in a tree,” they both began to tease, “K-I-S-S-”

“Oh Gosh stop this this instant. Can’t we go back to talking about ghosts?”

“Oh, okay, okay, Mister Partypooper,” Ford said.

“We could talk about ghosts and boys,” Tango proposed with a grin, “because tonight is movie night with Mandy and Jenny, and as they live in the Haus they probably know if Dex is-”

“Stop! Just stop! I’m gonna tell him, okay? Don’t involve them! Can’t we look at haunted places to visit? Here, look at this website- there’s some stuff in Boston, like an abandoned school or a swimming-pool…”

Next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had broken into the abandoned elementary school, in the end. Well, broken into. Everything was open and there were no “no trespassing” signs, so it wasn’t that impressive, but still. They didn’t find much ghost-wise, but it was still interesting from an urbex point of view.

And by interesting, they meant, “especially when Tango fell face first from the first floor when the stair gave up under him” and he spent the rest of the (aborted) exploration limping and with blood all over the face. Also he’s got a mean scar on his arm. He tells everyone he wrestled with a werewolf. Only Hops believes him.

Two days after the exploration, it was the week-end and they didn’t have a game; so, naturally they met at the Haus so they’d be able to work on the rushes, with bonus pie. Honestly those days, if you didn’t get the pie straight out of the oven, you got none. Bitty couldn’t keep up with the rhythm of the disappearing pies and that was the most supernatural thing that was happening in the Haus.

So they were sitting at the kitchen’s table, waiting patiently for the cookies to cook while they were working, when Bitty took pity on them and on the laptop that was making as much noise as a plane about to take off.

 

“This old thing isn’t made to edit videos, you know that, right?” Bitty told them. “Just, do yourself a favour and go use the desktop in my room.”

                                                                                                   

And they were shooed out of the kitchen, like they were brats. Well they were a bit, they were hogging the whole table and making noise for 7, and they got a professional video-maker desktop to use out of the change, but still. The audacity.

 

At least, in Bitty’s room, they wouldn’t bother anyone.

 

Ford and Tango began to chat about the latest hot goss of the team while they worked – apparently Bully was seeing this girl from SWH, and a thousand of other things that Whiskey didn’t give a flying shit about. He tuned out of it pretty quickly, playing with the setting of the GoPro Ford’s brother had lent them.

 

So yeah, he didn’t even have the reflex to gasp like Tango and Ford did when Mandy and Jenny spawned from the floor while screaming.

 

“What the hell?” Tango puffed, shocked. “Don’t do that! I’m gonna have a heart attack.”

“Must be nice to be able to have heart attacks,” Jenny snapped.

“Jenny, now’s not the time-” Mandy stopped her. “Guys and gal, something is happening. We need you, like, yesterday.”

 

And as if to bolster what she was saying, someone yelled downstairs – and then; Bitty shouted something too.

 

“What is happening?” Whiskey asked, jumping on his feet.

“That’s – what’s in the basement,” Mandy tried to explain. “The one reason why we stay upstairs and in the attic-”

“Something got out!” Jenny yelped. “Get rid of it, please!”

 

The Tadpoles looked at each other.

 

“Guys…”

“Guys.”

“Ta-la ta-la ta-la ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-la-”

“Tango, please.”

“I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

“Whiskey, not you too.”

“Please? Can you focus?” Mandy asked.

 

Someone screamed downstairs.

Ok, that wasn’t a game anymore. The Tadpoles ran out of the room, into the hallway, where they found Wicks, who was scared shitless and going down the attic stairs with a hockey stick as a weapon.

The four of them all but jumped to the first floor – Bitty was here, in front of the living-room’s open door, brandishing a knife. Dex and Nursey were hiding behind him, looking pale, and for one moment, when Bitty heard them arriving and turned towards them with the knife – they were scared.

 

“Guys, it’s you!” Bitty said, looking suddenly way less murderous. “I’m gonna skin Shitty alive.”

 

And no one doubt one second that he could, he would, and perhaps, he should.

 

“What’s happening?” Wicks asked, running next to him. “Where’s Ollie?”

“I’m here!”

 

The cry came from the living-room, and when the Tadpoles arrived to Bitty’s level, they could see what was in there – half of the team, it looked like, pressed against the walls, to try to be the farthest away from the goddamn couch, that was vibrating and emitting some black smoke – and it was moving by itself, propped on its little couch feet.

 

’Uuuh, Bits, you can’t throw the couch away, it is the soul of the Haus’ I’m gonna make him swallow it through the nostrils, because God yes this infamy is the soul of the Haus, so much soul in there that it is possessed by a demon, no wonder I couldn’t just burn it down-

“What the hell happened?” Ford shouted to the guys inside the living-room – Chowder was trying to protect the three Waffles with his body, and Ollie was a human shield for the Wii and the TV.

“It’s my fault!” Chowder began to cry, “I was eating a sandwich and I dropped a piece of ham on the couch and when I tried to pick it up the couch tried to swallow it instead and next thing I know, it made us fly in the air and got all possessed and it ate the whole sandwich-

“Shit…”

 

At this moment, Nursey bolted in the kitchen, shouting about looking for weapons to get rid of the thing.

 

“What do we do?” Tango asked.

Whiskey: Everyone, go to safety! We’re going to take care of this!
Ford: We’ll need all the help we can have boys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had broken into the abandoned elementary school, in the end. Well, broken into. Everything was open and there were no “no trespassing” signs, so it wasn’t that impressive, but still. They didn’t find much ghost-wise, but it was still interesting from an urbex point of view.

And by interesting, they meant, “especially when Tango fell face first from the first floor when the stair gave up under him” and he spent the rest of the (aborted) exploration limping and with blood all over the face. Also he’s got a mean scar on his arm. He tells everyone he wrestled with a werewolf. Only Hops believes him.

Two days after the exploration, it was the week-end and they didn’t have a game; so, naturally they met at the Haus so they’d be able to work on the rushes, with bonus pie. Honestly those days, if you didn’t get the pie straight out of the oven, you got none. Bitty couldn’t keep up with the rhythm of the disappearing pies and that was the most supernatural thing that was happening in the Haus.

So they were sitting at the kitchen’s table, waiting patiently for the cookies to cook while they were working, when Bitty took pity on them and on the laptop that was making as much noise as a plane about to take off.

 

“This old thing isn’t made to edit videos, you know that, right?” Bitty told them. “Just, do yourself a favour and go use the desktop in my room.”

                                                                                                   

And they were shooed out of the kitchen, like they were brats. Well they were a bit, they were hogging the whole table and making noise for 7, and they got a professional video-maker desktop to use out of the change, but still. The audacity.

 

At least, in Bitty’s room, they wouldn’t bother anyone.

Ford and Tango began to chat about the latest hot goss of the team – apparently Bully was seeing this girl from SWH, and a thousand of other things that Whiskey didn’t give a flying shit about, so he passed time by playing with the setting of the GoPro Ford’s brother lent them. Until, of course, Ford said the name.

 

“I saw Dex make a sincere compliment to Nursey this morning,” Ford said. “Seriously, you can’t blame me for thinking he could be into him.”

“Well,” Whiskey began, sheepish. “Last night he was into me.”

That stopped Tango and Ford right in the middle of their conversation, and they turned toward him, grinning like idiots.

 

“Eh!”

“Eh!”

“Eh!”

 

The three Tadpoles high-fived and were beaming, honestly over the moon for Whiskey.

 

“I mean actually not really,” Whiskey corrected, “because we didn't have sex we just made out but it sounded funny to say.”

“Eh!”

“Eh!”

“Eh!”

 

Second round of high-fives, because the guy deserved it.

 

Aaaaand that’s about then that Mandy and Jenny popped up from the floor, right in the middle of them, screaming.

 

“What the hell?” Tango puffed, shocked. “Don’t do that! I’m gonna have a heart attack.”

“Must be nice to be able to have heart attacks,” Jenny snapped.

“Jenny, now’s not the time-” Mandy stopped her. “Guys and gal, something is happening. We need you, like, yesterday.”

 

And as if to bolster what she was saying, someone yelled downstairs – and then; Bitty shouted something too.

 

“What is happening?” Whiskey asked, jumping on his feet.

“That’s – what’s in the basement,” Mandy tried to explain. “The one reason why we stay upstairs and in the attic-”

“Something got out!” Jenny yelped. “Get rid of it, please!”

 

The Tadpoles looked at each other.

 

“Guys…”

“Guys.”

“Ta-la ta-la ta-la ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-la-”

“Tango, please.”

“I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

“Whiskey, not you too.”

“Please? Can you focus?” Mandy asked.

 

Someone screamed downstairs.

Ok, that wasn’t a game anymore. The Tadpoles ran out of the room, into the hallway, where they found Wicks, who was scared shitless and going down the attic stairs with a hockey stick as a weapon.

The four of them all but jumped to the first floor – Bitty was here, in front of the living-room’s open door, brandishing a knife. Dex and Nursey were hiding behind him, looking pale, and for one moment, when Bitty heard them arriving and turned towards them with the knife – they were scared.

 

“Guys, it’s you!” Bitty said, looking suddenly way less murderous. “I’m gonna skin Shitty alive.”

 

And no one doubt one second that he could, he would, and perhaps, he should.

Dex sighed in relief when he saw that Whiskey was here, visibly unscathed, and Whiskey ran to him, still as worried.

 

“What’s happening?” Wicks asked, running next to him. “Where’s Ollie?”

“I’m here!”

 

The cry came from the living-room, and when the Tadpoles arrived to Bitty’s level, they could see what was in there – half of the team, it looked like, pressed against the walls, to try to be the farthest away from the goddamn couch, that was vibrating and emitting some black smoke – and it was moving by itself, propped on its little couch feet.

 

’Uuuh, Bits, you can’t throw the couch away, it is the soul of the Haus’ I’m gonna make him swallow it through the nostrils, because God yes this infamy is the soul of the Haus, so much soul in there that it is possessed by a demon, no wonder I couldn’t just burn it down-

“What the hell happened?” Ford shouted to the guys inside the living-room – Chowder was trying to protect the three Waffles with his body, and Ollie was a human shield for the Wii and the TV.

“It’s my fault!” Chowder began to cry, “I was eating a sandwich and I dropped a piece of ham on the couch and when I tried to pick it up the couch tried to swallow it instead and next thing I know, it made us fly in the air and got all possessed and it ate the whole sandwich-

“Shit…”

 

At this moment, Nursey bolted in the kitchen, shouting about looking for weapons to get rid of the thing.

 

“What do we do?” Tango asked.

Whiskey: Everyone, go to safety! We’re going to take care of this!
Ford: We’ll need all the help we can have boys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The guys didn’t need to be told twice, and they all ran out of the living-room – the couch’s focus being on the screaming people in the corridor, they managed to leave through the open window.

 

“You, too,” Ford told Bitty, Wicks and Dex.

“Out of the question,” Dex said.

“Dex, please,” Whiskey pleaded.

“That’s not safe.”

“Yes, indeed, it’s not. So go help the guys outside.”

“Dex, listen to them,” Bitty said. “Let’s go out. And you, guys, be careful and get out quick, am I clear?”

 

In a breeze, they were alone in the corridor, facing the threatening couch that was trying to get near them - but that was, luckily, too big to pass through the open door.

 

“Now what?”

“Oh, hey guys! Wait, where is everyone?”

 

Tango turned around, to see Nursey, who was coming out of the kitchen with his arms full of bleach and of salt.

 

“These are the only things that I found in enough quantity to cover the couch with.

“Perfect. Now, what would destroy a couch possessed by Satan?” Ford asked.

Tango: This shit needs to be bleached!
Whiskey: The salt, what a question.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ok pals, it’s the moment to show off this shiny teamwork of ours!” Ford shouted. “We can beat this hideous thing!”

“Yeah!”

 

The couch was still fuming and buzzing, and it was running circles in the living-room, not knowing where to go exactly. The shouts from everywhere around it was probably confusing it.

 

“Guys, look at what I found!” Nursey yelled, as he ran out of the kitchen. He had in his arms bottles of bleach and a big pack of salt. “That’s the only things I’ve found in enough quantity to cover the couch with.”

“Okay, good,” Ford said. “Now, what would destroy a couch possessed by Satan?”

Tango: The bleach! It kills 99,9% of all bacteria.
Whiskey: Demons hate salt. I’ve seen it on Supernatural.
Bitty: I didn’t ask Jack to Venmo me enough money to buy a flamethrower for nothin’.
Wicks: Okay that’s nice and all but GUYS maybe WE SHOULD GET IT OUT OF THE HAUS before we destroy everything??? Just sayin’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tango grabbed the first bleach bottle, opened it and squirted its entire content on the couch, before throwing the empty container on it – Ford did the exact same with the second bottle, and the couch… The couch swallowed both bottles, in between its crack. And it barfed.

 

“Oh boy.”

Now, what?

Whiskey: Well. Salt, I guess.
Ford: We’re bowing down because we’ve been defeated by a couch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiskey grabbed the two-kilos pack of coarse salt that Nurse was still carrying, and the two of them ripped it wide open, before pouring its content on the couch, trying to stay as far away as they could.

The couch was fuming. It was emitting a noise, like metal being heated, and it seemed like it was in atrocious pain – but, just as it seemed to begin to work well, the whole two kilos of salt had been thrown. There was no more.

 

Fuck,” Nursey said.

Now, what?

Tango: I vote for the bleach.
Ford: Now we say thank you Mister Couch for your time, and we give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ok pals, it’s the moment to show off this shiny teamwork of ours!” Ford shouted. “We can beat this hideous thing!”

“Yeah!”

 

The couch was still fuming and buzzing, and it was running circles in the living-room, not knowing where to go exactly. The shouts from everywhere around it was probably confusing it.

 

“Guys, look at what I found!” Nursey yelled, as he ran out of the kitchen. He had in his arms bottles of bleach and a big pack of salt. “That’s the only things I’ve found in enough quantity to cover the couch with.”

“Okay, good,” Ford said. “Now, what would destroy a couch possessed by Satan?”

 

Tango: The bleach! It kills 99,9% of all bacteria.
Whiskey: Demons hate salt. I’ve seen it on Supernatural.
Bitty: I didn’t ask Jack to Venmo me enough money to buy a flamethrower for nothin’.
Wicks: Okay that’s nice and all but GUYS maybe WE SHOULD GET IT OUT OF THE HAUS before we destroy everything??? Just sayin’

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s between you and me, you piece of shit. I knew the day would come. I've waited for it.”

 

And indeed, Bitty was waiting for it. In the closet right next to the entrance, where everyone sane was keeping their shoes, Bitty had stored a whole-ass flamethrower. Before anyone could react though, he had grabbed it and was holding the couch at gunpoint with it.

 

“Bitty no!” Chowder, still in the living-room, was shouting.

 

The couch was growling at Bitty, knowing very well what the threat was. It was not the first time that Bitty had tried to burn him down. The first time it had been with gas and a match, yes, but fire is fire.

 

“Bittle calm down you’re going to kill us all-” Whiskey yelled, grabbing his arm.

“Run. I’ll sacrifice myself if I have too, but I’ll destroy it.”

Bittle-”

 

But Bitty feared nothing. Especially not something as meaningless as death. The guys in the living-room barely had the time to run through the window before he opened fire.

In the hallway, Tango opened the front door and pushed everyone out of the Haus – grabbing Bitty last, making him stop the weapon. But it was too late.

By the time everyone was outside, the Haus was on fire, and all the team could do was to sit on the front yard, and watch the flames slowly eat their home.

 

“Wood. The Haus is made of wood,” Ford said, in a forced calm tone because otherwise she’ll break into hysterics. “Who thought it was a good idea to open fire in a wood house?”

 

Half of the team was crying as they were watching their home burning like a bonfire, while the other half could just not comprehend what was happening.

 

“Oops.”

“Bitty,” Chowder said, calmly, “I love you, but I am this close to murdering you.”

“At least, the couch that is literally possessed by Satan is destroyed,” Nursey pondered.

 

By the time the firefighters arrived and put out the fire, almost the entire Haus was gone. The attic had collapsed, the rooms were full of ashes, the kitchen was beyond recognition, the basement looked like it had exploded – and, in the middle of what was left of the living-room, stood an impeccable but awfully smelly green couch, that had survived the fire without any issue.

It was still growling a little when the team made a trip to the Atlantic coast to dump it in the ocean.

 

You found the Ending I! You were this close, but what an idea to set something on fire inside? Maybe you should try again to get a better ending. Did you know there was a secret ending?

 

Back to the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“First you all calm your tits and we’re getting this foul matter out of the Haus!” Wicks yelled, before anyone could say something.

“I am not touching the green couch, even less when it’s possessed by Satan,” Bitty said.

“Oh yeah? What you gonna do then?” Wicks asked. “Set it on fire in the middle of a wooden building? You’re paying for the repairs bro. Get this shit out.”

 

The couch was maybe buzzing and vibrating, and some weird, intangible smoke was coming out of it, and of course, it was growling and snapping, but it was only around the crack that it seemed dangerous. With some gymnastics, the guys managed to grab it from behind and by the sides, and carry it. As soon as the feet weren’t touching the ground anymore, the couch began to shake to be dropped, but there were enough people carrying it to stay more or less stable.

Manoeuvring it out of the living-room, then out of the Haus to drop it on the backyard was complicated enough, and Bully got his arm nipped in the process.

 

“Ouch.”

“Seriously, Satan is attacking you and you just say ‘Ouch’?” Ollie asked.

“Yeah well, it was just a small bite.”

“Bully, I promise you that if you show any symptom of being turned into a were-couch, I’ll kill you,” Bitty said, grave.

 

“And now, what?” Ford asked, now that the couch was surrounded by a whole team of hockey players and could barely move because the ground wasn’t levelled, and soft, and grass.

Whiskey: To destroy the demon, SALT.
Tango: To destroy the couch, BLEACH.
Bitty: FIIIIIIIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“First you all calm your tits and we’re getting this foul matter out of the Haus!” Wicks yelled, before anyone could say something.

“I am not touching the green couch, even less when it’s possessed by Satan,” Bitty said.

“Oh yeah? What you gonna do then?” Wicks asked. “Set it on fire in the middle of a wooden building? You’re paying for the repairs bro. Get this shit out.”

 

The couch was maybe buzzing and vibrating, and some weird, intangible smoke was coming out of it, and of course, it was growling and snapping, but it was only around the crack that it seemed dangerous. With some gymnastics, the guys managed to grab it from behind and by the sides, and carry it. As soon as the feet weren’t touching the ground anymore, the couch began to shake to be dropped, but there were enough people carrying it to stay more or less stable.

Manoeuvring it out of the living-room, then out of the Haus to drop it on the backyard was complicated enough, and Bully got his arm nipped in the process.

 

“Ouch.”

“Seriously, Satan is attacking you and you just say ‘Ouch’?” Ollie asked.

“Yeah well, it was just a small bite.”

“Bully, I promise you that if you show any symptom of being turned into a were-couch, I’ll kill you,” Bitty said, grave.

 

“And now, what?” Ford asked, now that the couch was surrounded by a whole team of hockey players and could barely move because the ground wasn’t levelled, and soft, and grass.

Whiskey: To destroy the demon, SALT.
Tango: To destroy the couch, BLEACH.
Bitty: FIIIIIIIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiskey grabbed the two-kilos pack of coarse salt that Nurse was still carrying, and the two of them ripped it wide open, before pouring its content on the couch, trying to stay as far away as they could.

The couch was fuming. It was emitting a noise, like metal being heated, and it seemed like it was in atrocious pain – but, just as it seemed to begin to work well, the whole two kilos of salt had been thrown. There was no more.

 

Fuck,” Nursey said.

Now, what?

Tango: I vote for the bleach.
Bitty: My Elon Musk flamethrower costed me 500 bucks let me use it

 

 

 

 

 

  

Whiskey grabbed the two-kilos pack of coarse salt that Nurse was still carrying, and the two of them ripped it wide open, before pouring its content on the couch, trying to stay as far away as they could.

The couch was fuming. It was emitting a noise, like metal being heated, and it seemed like it was in atrocious pain – but, just as it seemed to begin to work well, the whole two kilos of salt had been thrown. There was no more.

 

Fuck,” Nursey said.

Now, what?

Tango: I vote for the bleach.
Bitty: My Elon Musk flamethrower costed me 500 bucks let me use it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Now let’s disinfect this sh-”

 

But before Tango could grab one of the bleach bottles that Nursey was carrying, Bitty pushed him aside, brandishing his flamethrower.

 

“I waited long enough. It’s between you and me, you filth.”

Tango: Well, uh, go ahead Bitty, I guess?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Now let’s disinfect this sh-”

 

But before Tango could grab one of the bleach bottles that Nursey was carrying, Bitty pushed him aside, brandishing his flamethrower.

 

“I waited long enough. It’s between you and me, you filth.”

Tango: Well, uh, go ahead Bitty, I guess?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferme ta boîte à camembert et bouffe tes grands morts, baiseur de mère.”

 

Bitty’s three semesters of French had been taken, and passed, only for this moment.

Everyone took a step back, and Bitty opened fire on the weakened couch, and with all the salt covering it, the flames took right away – huge, yellow, and really, really hot.

It looked like a firework was exploding right in the middle of the Haus’ backyard. With the light, of course, the heat, and the sound.

The couch was hissing, so high and so loud that it was hurting everyone’s ears, but Bitty was still shooting, until he was totally out of gas, at which point he unplugged the empty gas bottle, and he threw it in the fire. That was the last straw, because there was the sound of a small explosion inside of the fire, and the hissing and growling suddenly stopped after one last cry of pain.

Now that the guys weren’t getting their eardrums massacred, they could hear that a fire truck was coming to the Haus. One of the neighbours must have called; it was hard to miss the gigantic yellow flames, the black smoke, and the burning pig smell.

 

“What the actual hell,” Ford said, her hand in front of her mouth, her eyes stuck on the fire that was slowly, but surely, burning the couch.

“That was badass,” Tango sighed.

“Bitty, you’re scary,” Whiskey stated.

 

Bitty didn’t say anything. He just threw the flamethrower into the fire before the firefighters got into the backyard, to destroy the evidence.

 

“Hi, gentlemen!” he beamed to the firemen. “I don’t understand, we put our couch outside to enjoy the sun, but it suddenly caught fire for no reason? Fortunately we’re all safe and sound!”

 

Honestly, if he one day learnt that Bitty had killed half a dozen people without ever getting caught, Whiskey wouldn’t even be surprised.

All’s well that’s end well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferme ta boîte à camembert et bouffe tes grands morts, baiseur de mère.”

 

Bitty’s three semesters of French had been taken, and passed, only for this moment.

Everyone took a step back, and Bitty opened fire on the weakened couch, and with all the salt covering it, the flames took right away – huge, yellow, and really, really hot.

It looked like a firework was exploding right in the middle of the Haus’ backyard. With the light, of course, the heat, and the sound.

The couch was hissing, so high and so loud that it was hurting everyone’s ears, but Bitty was still shooting, until he was totally out of gas, at which point he unplugged the empty gas bottle, and he threw it in the fire. That was the last straw, because there was the sound of a small explosion inside of the fire, and the hissing and growling suddenly stopped after one last cry of pain.

Now that the guys weren’t getting their eardrums massacred, they could hear that a fire truck was coming to the Haus. One of the neighbours must have called; it was hard to miss the gigantic yellow flames, the black smoke, and the burning pig smell.

 

“What the actual hell,” Ford said, her hand in front of her mouth, her eyes stuck on the fire that was slowly, but surely, burning the couch.

“That was badass,” Tango sighed.

“Bitty, you’re scary,” Whiskey stated.

 

Bitty didn’t say anything. He just threw the flamethrower into the fire before the firefighters got into the backyard, to destroy the evidence.

 

“Hi, gentlemen!” he beamed to the firemen. “I don’t understand, we put our couch outside to enjoy the sun, but it suddenly caught fire for no reason? Fortunately we’re all safe and sound!”

 

Honestly, if he one day learnt that Bitty had killed half a dozen people without ever getting caught, Whiskey wouldn’t even be surprised.

All’s well that’s end well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tango grabbed the first bleach bottle, opened it and squirted its entire content on the couch, before throwing the empty container on it – Ford did the exact same with the second bottle, and the couch… The couch swallowed both bottles, in between its crack. And it barfed.

 

Fuck,” Nursey said.

“Now get the hell away-” Bitty said, pushing him aside, brandishing his flamethrower.

 

“I hope you enjoyed the sunrise this morning, because it will be the last one you’ll ever see, demonic spawn.”

 

And he fired.

And fired.

And fired.

And. Hum. That was a lot of fire.

When Bitty ran out of gas, the couch was still as green, as smelly, and as possessed as before. Not a flame caught. If anything, he seemed even more angry now. Angry, more powerful than ever, and soaking wet with bleach.

 

“Bleach doesn’t burn,” Tango stated.

“Bleach doesn’t burn,” Whiskey repeated.

“Bleach doesn’t burn and we just turned the couch totally fire-resistant,” Ford renounced.

 

Bitty dropped his flamethrower on the ground. Defeated, once again.

 

“Well, crap.” Tango said.

 

 

Ford: It was too strong for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Everyone, move! I’m gonna burn this shit down!” Bitty shouted, shooting his flamethrower in the sky as if to threaten the couch – a couch that was hissing at him, like a feral cat cornered somewhere.

 

It was quickly clear that it didn’t work, though. The couch didn’t catch fire.

 

“Bitty, drop it!” Ford shouted. “We need to weaken it first!”

 

Whiskey: Are you finally gonna let me use my goddamn salt or
Tango: The bleach. The bleach bros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Everyone, move! I’m gonna burn this shit down!” Bitty shouted, shooting his flamethrower in the sky as if to threaten the couch – a couch that was hissing at him, like a feral cat cornered somewhere.

 

It was quickly clear that it didn’t work, though. The couch didn’t catch fire.

 

“Bitty, drop it!” Ford shouted. “We need to weaken it first!”

 

Whiskey: Are you finally gonna let me use my goddamn salt or
Tango: The bleach. The bleach bros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And indeed, the couch had survived, much to Bitty’s dismay.

Also, it was still possessed by a demon.

After two days, the guys had finally found how to calm it down; it just needed to be fed some raw steak.

 

“We can’t keep a possessed couch that needs to be fed red meat every day,” Bitty had said. “We need to clear it out of the living-room.”

“Silly Bitty, we can’t get rid of it, we won’t have a couch anymore if we do,” Chowder had replied.

 

It was less than ideal. First, it cost a lot of money in meat, and when it was hungry it wasn’t above biting you in the ass until you fed him. Also, the smell went from horrendous to unbearable, and it hissed at everyone and everything, and Bitty now refused to even enter the living-room, and it had scared Mandy and Jenny out of this plane of existence.

They had seen the Tadpoles when they visited them in the attic, one last time, and they announced to them that death had been all fun and games, but after being scared away from the basement, also losing the whole first floor was too much for them. They would quickly become crazy with so little space for themselves.

 

“But why can’t you go near the couch?” Tango had asked.

“There’s a demon living inside it, Tony,” Jenny had replied. “It’s going to attack us.”

“So yeah. It’s better if we just leave,” Mandy explained. “We would have had to do that, one day or another. It was nice meeting you, guys.”

“We hope you’ll get a lot of ‘subscribers’ to this ‘U-tube channel’ of yours. Maybe we’ll meet again one day? Not too soon, hopefully.”

 

And just like that, they disappeared, never to be seen again.

 

Even Tango didn’t feel like picking up a camera for a while after this.

 

Ending G! It's a meh ending. But who says meh ending says it could be worse - or better. You can try again if you want; and it's the occasion to visit the routes you haven't seen yet - maybe you'll find some clues you overlooked before...

 

Back to the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was nothing left of the couch, except some ashes.

 

Honestly, not having it inside the living-room anymore was a life changer. Tango had forgotten that houses could smell good. There wasn’t this rancid odour anymore, and now when you sat down you could get up of your seat easily, instead of having to peel yourself out of a mysterious sticky matter that was probably older than you.

Bitty had bought the Haus a new couch. Chowder cried a little, because according to him, “it wasn’t the same.”

Of course it wasn’t the same, Ford thought, when she sat for the first time on Michel (that’s the new couch.). You could sit and not feel weird things on your back that you tried to ignore, because you knew that if you thought about it you’d know it was whatever bugs living inside the backseat that were giving you a free massage. Honestly the old couch could have been named Oogie Boogie.

Shitty had tried to complain about the disappearance of the couch. Bitty had mailed him its ashes. Shitty had been silent after that.

 

Two days after the Incident, Whiskey texted Tango and Ford to ask them to meet up. Tango proposed his room, and Whiskey arrived there twenty minutes later, way after Ford.

He had a GoPro in hand.

 

“I had just the time to grab the GoPro before we went to save the Haus,” he said, with a shy smile. “The sound will be shit, that’s sure, but do you think we’ll reach the hundred subscribers with this?”

 

Maybe. Maybe not. That won’t stop them having fun trying, though.

 

And this is the Ending H, the good ending! Congrats! I'm so curious; which routes did you follow? Faber, the Casa? What did you find in there? What choices did you make? And, more important - did you know there was a secret ending somewhere? Good luck to find it! I'm giving you a clue because you reached this point: you should find a way to have access to the basement...

 

Back to the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was nothing left of the couch, except some ashes.

 

Honestly, not having it inside the living-room anymore was a life changer. Tango had forgotten that houses could smell good. There wasn’t this rancid odour anymore, and now when you sat down you could get up of your seat easily, instead of having to peel yourself out of a mysterious sticky matter that was probably older than you.

Bitty had bought the Haus a new couch. Chowder cried a little, because according to him, “it wasn’t the same.”

Of course it wasn’t the same, Ford thought, when she sat for the first time on Michel (that’s the new couch.). You could sit and not feel weird things on your back that you tried to ignore, because you knew that if you thought about it you’d know it was whatever bugs living inside the backseat that were giving you a free massage. Honestly the old couch could have been named Oogie Boogie.

Shitty had tried to complain about the disappearance of the couch. Bitty had mailed him its ashes. Shitty had been silent after that.

 

Two days after the Incident, Whiskey texted Tango and Ford to ask them to meet up. Tango proposed his room, and Whiskey arrived there twenty minutes later, way after Ford.

He had a GoPro in hand.

 

“I had just the time to grab the GoPro before we went to save the Haus,” he said, with a shy smile. “The sound will be shit, that’s sure, but do you think we’ll reach the hundred subscribers with this?”

 

Maybe. Maybe not. That won’t stop them having fun trying, though.

Back to the start.
... Back to the start?