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Unfamiliar Volume 2

Unfamiliar Volume 2 by Haley Newsome

Sun is taking pictures of Babs at her quirky witch-hat shaped house, and Babs is really good at this modeling crap. Sun, meanwhile, can barely stand to look at herself in the mirror. Babs is doing the photoshoot so Sun can sell the pictures to help pay for treatment which will lift her eyeball-on-her-head curse and mean she doesn’t have to work a million jobs. Photoshoot complete, they’re off to sell them at the Faerie Council who use beautiful things as currency. Sun is wary because she knows faeries are dangerous but Babs reassures her that so long as they’re not a bucket of unspoiled milk or a baby, they’ll be fine. Anywho, they’re at the gate!

Together Babs and Sun are transported to Faerie and it’s beautiful and filled with diverse creatures, one of whom may or may not be carrying a basket full of stolen babies. When they get to the faerie market, a tall, thin stranger with a fox head wearing a tiny crown, the Faerie Lord, offers to buy all the pictures and hands over a big pile of cash. Kerching! The Faerie Lord then tries to trap Babs by offering her food which is a HUGE no-no so Babs turns him down and Sun insists they are leaving. The Faerie Lord ups the ante and offers to clear Sun’s nasty curse if she leaves Babs with him. Nah, dog… or fox. Sun takes Babs’ hand and they go back to the gate.

Babs is stunned that Sun didn’t take the Faerie Lord’s offer to lift her curse and is convinced her siren powers are what is making Sun like her. They're not. Sun doesn’t believe her curse is worth anyone’s life, and besides, Babs is spending all her time helping her. They both know what it’s like to hate themselves and feel unlovable and so they share a hug. When Sun pulls away, Babs gasps, Sun’s curse is gone, she has two eyes in the regular place!

Meanwhile, Pinyon is trying to get her flying magic to engage. It’s in her blood, she should be able to leave her house by flying! Unfortunately it doesn't work, but she’ll get it next time! Pinyon makes her way, on foot, to Planchette’s very haunted spooky skull-shaped house with a basket of eggs for her friend. Planchette is delighted by the gift.

Being a kitchen witch, Planchette can do ovomancy and pulls out a tray to crack a couple of eggs into. One egg is perfectly normal and means a companion or friend. The second one however… Planchette doesn’t say what it means but the fact that she has a shaken look on her face, the yolk looks like a skull, and that she instantly makes some friend protection frittata says a lot. Meanwhile, a ghost crawls out of the mirror behind her.

In the woods, Sun isn’t sure how to feel now that her curse is lifted and has her hood pulled up hiding herself. Was that all she needed to do to break the curse? Stop hating herself? Suddenly, Babs gets an SOS text from Planchette so they head to her very haunted skull-shaped house only to find Planchette and Pinyon cowering on Planchette’s bed confronted by a crying ghost bride they can’t understand. The ghost bride sees Babs and possesses her and tells them she can’t speak in her spectral form. Sun points out she could easily have used a Ouija board. The ghost bride explains she wants her lost wedding planner back. She tells them it’s in the woods and that she’ll leave Babs with the memory of exactly where it is before leaving Babs’ body. Guess they know what they’re doing tomorrow!

The next morning, Pinyon has packed camping gear and Planchette has packed a month's worth of snacks so the foursome set out to the Deep Forest. Babs, with a new hairstyle, flies on a flower broom, Sun is on a pushbroom, Planchette is on her traditional witch broom and Pinyon is carried by birds. (Ignore the warning sign that the Deep Forest is profoundly evil and only for experienced magic users, it’ll be fine.) It’s not long into their trip when Planchette suggests they stop for a picnic and as they’re setting up, Sun is forced to reveal her new old face and that she’s not exactly sure how the curse was lifted. Meanwhile, everything Babs is trying to eat decays. Planchette thinks it’s her and she is the worst kitchen witch ever, but it’s only the food that Babs tries to eat going bad. She must be cursed!

Flashback time! Sun remembers when she was being tutored and was taught what a witch must protect in order to avoid becoming a victim of a curse: their full name, their body like hair and stuff, and images of themselves… like photographs.

Back to the Deep Forest! While Babs is being her usual positive self and is sure it’s nothing serious, Sun is sure the Faerie Lord has something to do with the curse. Packing their picnic up, they continue on their mission until nightfall when the group sets up camp. The wedding planner isn’t too far away so they should find it in the morning. As Planchette throws a chili pepper on the fire for warmth, Babs’ stomach gives a huge growl. They try feeding her, thinking Babs handling the food may be the cause of it going bad, but it doesn’t work.

Planchette and Pinyon sleep soundly while Sun and Babs lie awake. Babs is too hungry to sleep and keeps thinking about grilled cheese. This surprises Sun who figured Babs would want girly food like macarons. Sun's first impressions of Babs weren’t nice and they were born out of jealousy. She felt like a monster compared to her and believed all the rumors and thought Babs would be conceited, but really Sun likes Babs a lot. Suddenly a grilled cheese sandwich appears with a letter. While Babs is excited she can touch the food, Sun opens the letter. It’s from the Faerie Lord and it’s in a Faerie circle made from mushrooms, so Sun tells Babs she can’t eat it. She sends her to bed promising she’ll figure something out.

While Babs sleeps, Sun goes back to Faerie to confront the Faerie Lord. She throws all the money the Lord gave them for Babs’ photographs and demands the pictures back. The Lord wants all the payment back, including Sun’s face. Sun is destroyed, she didn’t know why the curse had lifted, but she had hope. The Lord is a generous Fae and will leave Sun curse-free if she brings Babs to him. Sun refuses. The Lord sees how it is, Sun is in love with her. The Faerie Lord puts his hand over Sun’s face and throws Babs’ pictures at her as she kneels on the ground crying.

Back in the Deep Forest, Planchette, Pinyon and Babs are all enjoying breakfast. Babs is so relieved to be cured. When they check on Sun and see she is gone, they find a note saying she had to head off to her job at the Hex Mart. The three of them finish the mission and find the lost wedding planner.

By a floating lake, Babs digs into the ground and locates the wedding planner thanks to the ghost bride's memories in her head. Taking a quick flick through, Babs notes a creepy tall figure behind the bride and groom in one picture. Together they hurry out of the Deep Forest, Planchette and Pinyon to the very haunted skull-shaped house, Babs, to visit Sun at the Hex Mart.

Winston, Planchette’s familiar, comes running into her arms screaming that she left him there to die! Ignoring his dramatics, Planchette pulls out her Ouija board so the ghost bride can communicate. The ghost bride appears, holds her wedding planner close as she uses the Ouija board to thank them for finding it and asks if they can do one more thing to help her find peace, grant her the wedding she had planned. Planchette will make the cake! Is twenty layers going to be enough?

At the Hex Mart, Babs finds that Sun didn’t turn up for her shift from the bird-masked manager. At the cafe, the Mari Lwyd-looking manager reports the same, as do two other places Sun works. The last one saw Sun walking home though. Thankfully Babs has Marlow, her one-eyed cat familiar, with her to give her courage as Sun’s house is imposing.

Babs knocks and Sun’s mom answers. She’s tall and thin with her arms crossed, think Morticia Addams but with a witch’s hat, sad, tired eyes and, spoiler alert, a not very positive attitude toward her offspring. Babs is invited in and directed to Sun’s room while being offered some backwards compliments about her being a siren and her father's incarceration and how she wishes Sun would dress so cute. Babs defends her friend before continuing up the stairs only for Sun to tell her to go away. Inside her room, Sun is surrounded by the twisted vines of her misery. Her curse is back.

Back at the very haunted skull-shaped house, Pinyon can’t help but feel they’re forgetting something… Babs starts to leave Sun’s house but Sun’s terrible mocking mother gives her the determination to turn around and go back to Sun and fight her way through the twisted misery surrounding Sun that seems to grow thicker and thicker. Babs refuses to leave her alone and isn’t disgusted by Sun’s appearance. The only way Babs can show how she really feels about Sun is to kiss her!

THE KISS! Planchette screams, they forgot the kiss! They don’t have a groom for the wedding. The ghost bride tells them her marriage was arranged and that it was the wedding she had dreamed about and planned. Well, it’s going to be perfect, who needs a groom?! Pinyon asks Ari, her bird familiar, to deliver the invites and he’s on it, including delivering to Babs and Sun’s mid-kiss. The wedding is in one hour so they’d best get ready!

Babs heads home and while hugging a pillow tells Marlow it was her first kiss with someone she actually liked. Sun, meanwhile, checks Witchyhow, do sirens kiss people out of pity? and is given a resounding no in response. Both Babs and Sun take care getting dressed for the wedding, unfortunately for Sun she has to walk past her horrible mother who gives her unsolicited nasty comments about her outfit which is actually a very cute black dress with a frilly white collar and pink ribbons.

The wedding is taking place at Planchette’s very haunted skull-shaped house. The ghost twins, Dottie and Lottie, are the flower girls, the Witch Doctor is in attendance with his wife Camille who has offered to play the music. Even Detective Alice has come, though she’s lost a finger after doing a little necromancy because Death always takes his fee. Luckily the Witch Doctor is there to tend the wound. Approaching the very haunted skull-shaped house, Babs and Sun see each other looking amazing and walk in together, arms linked and Sun trembling.

The “wedding” commences and the ghost bride walks down the aisle while Camille plays the flute. Unfortunately it’s interrupted by the Faerie Lord, who Pinyon whispers to Planchette is in fact the Faerie King! Sun snaps at the Faerie King, demanding to know what he wants. He has only come to beg Babs for forgiveness and take her by the hand and asks if she accepts his request to reconcile. Babs, being a nice person, says “I do.” When the Faerie King removes his hands from Babs, there is a ring on her finger and he declares a real wedding has taken place.

Babs is upset she’s been tricked and Sun is furious and calls the Faerie King out. The guests start to whisper, they should do something but it’s the Faerie King! Alice points out they need a Faerie Circle. Planchette throws mushroom puffs at the King and they form a mushroom circle around him then POOF he’s gone and they can get back to the celebration at hand. Finally the ghost bride reaches the end of the aisle, and with happy tears, she tells them “thank you” before moving on. Alice tells Planchette she was brave to stand up to the Faerie King but they should consider witness protection.

After the wedding, Sun and Babs go to the Witch Doctor’s office to get the ring removed. Luckily he’s able to pop it off, gives Babs a lollipop and lets her know she should not be cursed; however, he warns that the King will be a thorn in their side. As they leave, the Witch Doctor informs Sun she is overdue for her annual physical. Dang it. Babs will wait outside.

Back at the very haunted skull-shaped house, Planchette is tidying up after the festivities and notices a lot of tissues. Dottie and Lottie tell her there is a new ghost. Winston demands action claiming they can’t unhaunt the house if they keep getting refills. Planchette plans on making tea and talking to the new ghost. As they chat, the ghost not knowing anything about the hows and whys, Alice bursts through the door. She’s made a breakthrough in Lucy’s case and needs to interview the ghosts of the very haunted skull-shaped house.

Back at the Witch Doctor’s office, Babs is still waiting when Camille comes in. She needs more medicine as she gets sick so often, in fact it’s how she and the Witch Doctor met and fell in love. Ever since he’s been pulling Camille from the brink of death. Camille breaks down and runs upstairs crying.

Alice shows Planchette her murderboard and the connections she’s made. The ghosts of the very haunted skull-shaped house are likely the victims of the same culprit. Every twenty years, three new ghosts manifest because someone is stealing lives and has been doing so for over one hundred years. It must be the Faerie King! GASP! Alice wants Planchette to come with her to Faerie and extract a confession. Winston is very opposed to this plan because she’s only a kitchen witch, but Planchette needs to help. Grabbing some portobellos, they head out to fight crime and make a murderer pay.

Babs is still waiting for Sun’s physical to end. She spots something in a magazine, an eyeball pendant that Lucy, Alice’s dead best friend, was wearing when she was killed. Babs takes the pendant and knocks on the Witch Doctor’s door before opening it. She’s shocked by what she sees. Alice meanwhile is confronting the Faerie King, but he only admits to a bit of kidnapping not murder, how gauche! All his victims are alive and thriving and ringing up quite a cake bill. Well, shoot. If it’s not the Faerie King, who could it be?

The Witch Doctor! He has Sun unconscious on the table with a mask over her mouth and nose. It would be cruel to kill her when she’s awake. Babs tries to get to Sun but the world turns fuzzy and she realizes there was something in her lollipop. The Witch Doctor explains he is doing this to save the love of his life, Camille; he would do anything for her. If Camille’s life was running out, he would get her more, again and again and again. Babs understands he is doing this for love, but what about the one she loves? She reaches for Sun’s hand. They deserve a chance to be happy too.

Alice kicks the Witch Doctor’s door in and walks in with Planchette. Alice is angry she never saw it before, it could only have been the Witch Doctor and you better believe she’s called an authority for help. DEATH. With a POOF, a dog holding a scythe in his mouth appears. With a lisp, Death accuses the Witch Doctor of the crime of violating the laws of nature. The Witch Doctor begs for Camille to be left alone but Camille has come down to the office too and tells her husband this isn’t what she wanted and it’s time they both go. With a swipe of his scythe, Death takes Camille and the Witch Doctor.

Unfortunately for the Witch Doctor it appears he has unfinished business and his ghost remains while Camille has moved on. Perhaps he needs to make amends. Planchette suggests he help with the ghosts at the very haunted skull-shaped house since he made them.

Two months later. Babs is helping Sun move out of her mom's house. With a bitter parting of tch, you’ll be back, you’re nothing without me, Sun leaves. Yeah, no. As she looks at Babs she knows she’s pretty good, even if their new place may have a ghost problem.

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