A Lackadaisy Interpretation


Disclaimer: Belongs to Tracy J. Butler.

When she's a dream child in a dream, Ivy Pepper finds herself with bouncy curls and stuffed in a dollish dress that better fitted her babyhood than her today. She's in some hellish stormy realm that reminds her of the winters back home standing next to two hulking, shadowy figures in front of a crooked gray-blue tree.

She identifies the bigger one easily—can anyone mistake Viktor for Viktor with that kind of physique?

Her eyes dance to her left and meet spinning vortexes replacing glasses and black fur—Mordecai.

They don't turn around and their gaze is focused determinedly on the tree and that other more curvy figure across from them that in undeniably Ms. Mitzi.

Her mind casually reminds her that this is a rather desolate and dry place for a tree to reside.

Ivy clutches Viktor's arm and asks, "Why don't you turn around? It's just a ghost."

Not-Mordecai's vortex eyes look down at her almost dismissively. "It makes the light for dead eyes."

Light for dead eyes? What an oxymoron. She plans on informing the symmetrical, obsessively clean Mordecai exactly that when he continues on drily, "Didn't you see his face?"

Viktor's head twists to face and snarl at her, and orange fur is burnt off revealing dead skin, and an empty void where an eye used to be. His other eye is burning bright even here, and then he and Mordecai and Ms. Mitzi and that blue-veined tree fade away for her to run through a cornfield.

Viktor isn't that scary.

He isn't.

He's a big teddy bear.

… But not here. Not this reality. He's terrifying here.

She spots a graveyard up ahead with Calvin (not going to call him Freckle) and Rocky kneeling over some pit emitting light like a pot of gold on a sunny-rainy day. The tombstone doesn't even have a name on it, but it's noticeably cracked and has an almost-sun engraved on it.

Rocky gives her his devil grin and wriggles his eyebrows. That wound on his head glows gold and Ivy is drawn closer.

Calvin is looking passionately at the inside of his hat like he cannot believe what he has done.

She peers into the grave almost a little hesitantly. Bones and booze, booze and bones. The only difference is that one is worth gold in the real world.

"Look what you found," Rocky says gleefully.

"I'm worried about the overlap." What is she saying?

"He says it's sorted," replies Calvin gracelessly, fiddling with the brim of his hat.

Ivy hears something that doesn't sound like Rocky or Calvin.

"What on earth have you gotten yourself into?"

She gets gradually more aware that she is hunched and curled on her chair with a thin blanket clutched between her paws. Her roommate, a bossy kind of blonde with the kind of manners Ivy expected from someone looking a little higher in status, stands in front of her wielding something red in a tube of gold.

"And look what he did to my lipstick," she complains.

Wearily, Ivy opens her eyes and imagines this blinding ray of sunlight is what kills Viktor day after day at his place. No wonder he grumbles every time she shoves his apartment's dingy curtains open and shoves the window up.

She used to like sunshine in the morning too.

Her roommate points self-righteously at the loud message scrawled on the wall of her dormitory. A sun personified as what she'll imagine as Rocky wiggles its arms around with a stupidly cheerful open-mouthed smile plastered on its face, laughing soundlessly as if representing Rocky's sudden turn of health.

Morning, Miss Pepper. Meet you later at (lily). Pie Truck + Pig Truck required for pick-up tonight. Need your help! Love, Rocky

On the bright side, it's lightened her mood. On the dark side, she doesn't want to even confront Viktor to ask what in the world the 'Pie Truck' is after that nightmare.

Maybe, she thinks to herself darkly, the stories last night have given me nightmares.

Author's Note: Please tell me you felt some sort of stunned amazement that Viktor has/might have a daughter daughter.