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[Closed] Ditto Town Holiday Mansion 2022

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Delia Death
(@ms-death)
Ghost Wrangler Ditto Town Host

Welcome, traveler! Won't you come in and join the party?

Every year, Ditto Town hosts a Holiday Party, which usually starts during Hanukkah and runs through the Feast of Epiphany. Everyone is welcome to join in! You can come as yourself, your favorite (original) character, even your favorite hat! Unlike most other Mansions, the Holiday Mansions are generally not heavily planned out, so there is quite a lot of room to enjoy eggnog or cider, kick back, relax, and catch up with some old friends. Hopefully you make a few new friends, too! 

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
1) If you choose to come as a character (other than yourself), please do keep your characters original. Thus, showing up as Lucy Pevensie or Bilbo Baggins would be a no-no.
2) Do not fold, staple, mutilate, kill, or otherwise destroy, another writer's character(s).
3) Keep in mind that all general forum rules still apply.
4) Keep all posts rated “G” or “PG” for the sake of our younger members.

If you are new to Ditto Town, or are interested in learning a bit more about what goes on here, this is a perfect place to jump in, as no prior knowledge about the subforum is needed to participate. If, however, you have any questions, feel free to PM myself or one of the Ditto Town mods, and we would be happy to provide you with an answer. And if we don't know the answer, we'll either make something up, or refer you on to someone who does know. We're pretty good about knowing, though!

Come on in and join the fun!

D. Death

Topic starter Posted : November 30, 2022 11:31 pm
Delia Death
(@ms-death)
Ghost Wrangler Ditto Town Host

Delia stood in the center of the great room, looking around, lightly clapping her hands in delight. The previous year's rather small (and nearly non-existent) party had somehow inspired her into a joyous dimension, where she not only had managed to preserve the positively overflowing table of sweetmeats from the preceding holidays, but had also unearthed enough decorations that the mansion was practically dripping in tinsel and glitter. She herself was, as usual, decked out in black and sporting a high ponytail, but her pants featured a shiny tuxedo stripe while her nails and lips sported equally shiny cherry red accents. If that was not enough, her sparkly ornament earrings were also red, as were the questionably large assortment of bows gracing her hair, waist, and shoes. 

"Absolute perfection," she purred.

"Milady?" Hugh asked, appearing at her elbow. 

"Yes?"

"The...um...pup seems to have gotten into the kitchen again."

"Oh no."

"I believe he is terrorizing the cook at the moment."

"Oh no."

"And might have knocked over the hot beverages."

"Oh no."

"And one of the wait staff may have slipped and fallen in it."

"CERBERUS!"

Topic starter Posted : November 30, 2022 11:31 pm
narnianerd
(@assistant-lord-of-the-little-ponies)
NarniaWeb Guru

Officer of the Peace and Defender of Ditto Town, Detective Jeffery Evans, and intrepid adventurer extraordinaire and CEO of Kellner Mining Corporation, Ainsley-Marie Kellner burst through the main entrance of the Mansion, followed closely by an absolute deluge of white flakes propelled by a nasty gust of wind. Jeffery quickly closed the door behind his girlfriend, shutting out the cold. The two were absolutely covered in snow, but they were appropriately outfitted for the occasion. Ainsley was in a short black trench coat, cinched tightly around her waist to keep the cold out; on her head; she wore a maroon cloche, the brim of which kept most of the powder out of her fiery red hair. For his part, Jeff wore a woolen black great coat, and his head he covered with an equally noir tweed flat cap. In their hands, they each carried a beautifully wrapped present, neither of them were sure if secret Santa was on order, but the couple wanted to ensure they weren't the only ones attending empty-handed. Ainsley looked around for a host, but seeing none, she pointed out a table to the left of the doors with a placard indicating that gifts were to be left there. 

"Phew, good thing we brought these!" She exclaimed, plopping her present down. It was a small box wrapped in green paper with a bright red bow. Jeff nodded profusely and tossed his present onto the table unceremoniously; it was a sphere, wrapped in brown paper and taped haphazardly. Ainsley had offered to wrap it for him, but he insisted on doing it himself, to less than desirable effects. Once he had disposed of his present, Jeff helped Ainsley out of her coat and vanished into a nearby closet. When he reemerged he had removed his own outerwear to reveal a dapper green tweed suit with a tan vest underneath. He had wanted to wear a red tie, but Ainsley's better fashion sense had prevailed, and he instead wore no tie at all, and his white dress shirt was unbuttoned at the collar. For her part, Ainsley was dressed to the nines in a maroon dress that perfectly matched her headwear, with black boots that came all the way up to just below her knees. 

"Well, seems we are the first ones to arrive; I wonder where Delia is hiding?" Jeff asked, looking around. Ainsley took Jeff's arm as the two moved further into the room. 

"Oh, I'm sure she's around here somewhere- ooh, look at the tree, it's so beautiful!" 

Spoiler
small box
lump of coal

Spoiler
spherical shape
the ball consists of a paper-mache outer layer, contained within is a coffee mug with Nic Cage's head predominantly displayed, the receiver will have to break the paper mache to access the mug

 

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by narnianerd

If you ain't first, you're last.

Posted : December 1, 2022 12:55 am
Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator

The snowstorm outside was such fun that Mel, a oversized and exuberant St. Bernard dog, was tempted to take a third (and fourth...) lap around the Mansion before dashing up the stairs and bursting inside. Snowflakes dusted the outer layer of her fur, and there was a generous helping of crystals around her muzzle (from trying to get that one particular snowflake the wind had kept just out of reach out of a snowbank).

She wagged her tail in greeting to Ainsley and Jeff whom she remembered meeting in passing other years, and politely waited until they were out of the entry before shaking herself vigorously. 

Mel deposited a slender gift wrapped in shiny red paper and silver string on the gift table and barked with excitement. "I wonder if they've set the hors d'oeuvres out yet?"

Her toenails clicked on the floor as she set out to answer the question. 

Spoiler
slender package
a pearwood flute

We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago! -- G. K. Chesterton

Posted : December 1, 2022 3:46 pm
Delia Death
(@ms-death)
Ghost Wrangler Ditto Town Host

"You, sirs, should be ashamed of yourself!"

Delia dragged Cerberus out of the kitchen by a collar, hastily opening the basement door. She had nearly shoved him inside when she reconsidered. The idea of putting a literal hellhound into a room filled with questionable ancient artifacts that occasionally activated was not her best.

She pulled him out and closed the door, thinking.

Her thinking was cut short by the opening of the front door.

Drat.

She looked around again, opened the basement door, hustled down the stairs and across the chilly storage room to a different set of stairs which opened on the far side of the mansion, near the guest rooms. She saw a quick blur of colorful clothes as she slipped out the door and down the hall, opening a random door and pulling Cerberus in behind her. 

"I knew I should have taken you back to Hades for tonight," Delia grumbled, glaring at Cerberus. 

Cerberus cocked a head.

"No, absolutely not. You will stay out of sight."

The other two heads also cocked, this way and that. 

"My face is fine, thank you very much."

One head shifted, aligning with the others.

"No, I'm not using magic to give you one head."

Cerberus snuffled. 

"Well, my face is a bit different, and I wouldn't be much of a host if I were scaring all the guests, now, would I?"

He whined.

"Besides, you couldn't agree which one you would want to use."

Cerberus lay down and sighed. 

"I know, and that's why I told you you couldn't attend the party."

She sighed, then dug in her pockets, eventually pulling out a very large bone.

"Here, Cerb," she said, holding it out. Cerberus sniffed it over, then picked it up. "Be a good boy, now, ok?"

Cerberus grunted, laying back down and chewing contentedly, a paw between each head. 

Delia paused, straightening her clothes in the mirror, then walked back into the hall, closing the door behind her. She double checked the knob, then took off down the stairs, through the basement, back up the other stairs, and into the great room. 

"...Ainsley, Jeff! What a surprise! And Mel! Wonderful to see you all!"

Topic starter Posted : December 1, 2022 11:07 pm
Arwenel
(@arin)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

One year, Ian promised himself as he burrowed deeper into his absurdly puffy yellow coat and stuffed his gloved hands under his armpits, they would drive to the Mansion Christmas party. It wasn't that far from his and Lauren's place, nor was it that bad a walk in good weather, but it was the principle of the thing. The first year, Lauren had suggested they could "use the fresh air", or some nonsense. The year after, Lauren had taken their car out of town and so Ian had no recourse but to walk.

This year was ... a little different. And the primary difference was riding on Lauren's back.

Lauren herself still looked spiffy as ever, in her double-breasted white coat with gold buttons, blue scarf, and matching gloves. In concession to the snow, her white high heels were included in one of the bags Ian was carrying, and she wore a pair of black boots with white fake fur trim. Ian didn't know much about fashion, and what little he did know just confused him -- Lauren's coat was perfectly serviceable still, but she'd lamented it being "two years out of style" when she'd dug it out, and with nothing but stockings on her legs had to be cold -- but even he had to admit, the bright teal child carrier on her back did clash with her whole look, a little.

Noah, Lauren's two-year-old nephew, poked his head over her shoulder, gray-green eyes wide open. Without a speck of shame, Ian could admit that the toddler pulled off the "absurdly puffy outerwear" look better than he did in his multi-colored snowsuit. 

It took a few minutes longer than usual to wrangle out of their outerwear, especially when Lauren insisted Noah put on his shoes once he'd taken off his boots, but eventually the three of them entered the main room. Ian and Lauren looked as disparate as they had the last time they were here -- Ian in a sweater with a reindeer decked in holiday lights and an elf hat, Lauren in a Christmas green satin wrap dress that came to just above her knees -- but Noah, in an adorable three-piece suit with blue pants, a plaid shirt, and a sweater vest with a Christmas tree and cars on it somehow tied their two clashing styles together. He was clinging to his aunt's hand while Ian juggled Lauren's purse, Noah's diaper bag, and the three presents they had brought.

(There had been a ... heated discussion on whether to bring a gift from Noah or not. Ian had maintained that at his age, Noah cared more about the wrapping paper than getting an actual present, and the secret nature of the exchange meant there was no guarantee the present Noah picked would be age-appropriate. Lauren had argued that Noah would most likely grab one off the table anyway, and that the presence of children at the earlier event meant there was unlikely to be anything truly inappropriate for his age. Ian thought that was contraindicated by some of the other things that had happened at the aforementioned event, but hadn't said so. The argument hadn't really been about presents or even Noah, really. They had bought a new stuffed animal alongside the other gifts, to offer a quick replacement if Noah got his hands on something unsafe, put it in the diaper bag, and that was that.)

They had barely entered the room when Noah spotted Mel. "Puppy!" He tugged eagerly on Lauren's hand. "Aunt Lauren, puppy!" 

"Do you want me to --" Ian began.

"We're fine," Lauren said stiffly, and headed in Mel's direction while keeping a firm grip on Noah's hand.

Ian did not argue, but headed for the gift table. He set down three boxes: one, a long, flat box wrapped in Christmas-y plaid wrapping paper; the second, a small, square box wrapped in navy blue paper and tied up with white ribbon and a white bow on top; the third, a noticeably larger box in red wrapping paper covered in reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.

Spoiler
Long, flat box with Christmas-y plaid wrapping paper
Two pairs of novelty reindeer antlers, with bells on the ears and light-up Christmas lights on the antlers.

Spoiler
Small square box in navy blue paper, white ribbon, and a white bow
A black stainless steel insulated coffee travel mug, with a beautiful stylized image of a dragonfly on the front.

Spoiler
Box with red wrapping paper covered in reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees
A very soft, very floppy stuffed elephant toy with a ribbon wrapped around its neck.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : December 2, 2022 3:26 pm
narnianerd
(@assistant-lord-of-the-little-ponies)
NarniaWeb Guru

"Aww com'mon now, Miss Death-" Jeff started to say, his voice twangy in the aww-shucks manner that he so sterotypically embodied. Detective rank or not he was still a small town beat cop at heart.

"You know we ain't missing the infamous Mansion Christmas party for nothin. It's great to see you again... Been a while."

There was a mischievous twinkle in Jeff's eye as he finished his greeting, but Ainsley's view of his face was blocked by the brim of her somewhat (in Jeff's humble opinion) obnoxious hat. 

"Yeah, especially since it's the one time of year I can get him to take off the badge and relax." 

Jeff joined Ainsley in laughing, however, he didn't mention the badge tucked away in his suits inner pocket, nor did he reveal the service blaster concealed in its holster on his hip. He always kept that thang on his person. 

This post was modified 2 months ago 4 times by narnianerd

If you ain't first, you're last.

Posted : December 2, 2022 7:38 pm
Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator

Mel had barely begun to acknowledge Delia's welcome (and there was an interesting question to be asked... was there another canine here?!?) when a small child came inexorably in her direction.

"Why, hello!" barked Mel, quite delighted, but also knowing that small children required her to be as still as possible...even tail wags could be dangerous and sweep the child off their feet!

We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago! -- G. K. Chesterton

Posted : December 3, 2022 7:12 pm
Delia Death
(@ms-death)
Ghost Wrangler Ditto Town Host

"Oh, it was devastating that you had to miss last year's party," Delia said smoothly, "but I know that work has been piling up for everyone: it's great you were able to escape to join us."

She paused, watching a rather smol child toddle by.

"Huh, more kiddos...Ian! Lauren! Wonderful to see you all again!"

Topic starter Posted : December 3, 2022 7:52 pm
Arwenel
(@arin)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

"Noah, gentle," Lauren said as her nephew all but barreled into Mel's side. "Oh for the love of --"

The little boy buried his curly head into the dog's side, little hands patting her fur with more eagerness than the St. Bernard probably appreciated, but still in the vicinity of 'gentle'. "Puppy," he said again. "Soft!" With the benefit of context, his toddler speech was mostly intelligible.

"Howdy, Delia," Ian said, sauntering over. He was impressed with himself for remembering his hostess' name -- then realized that was kind of a low bar, and coughed and looked away to hide his sudden embarrassment. "Love what you've done with the place!" He waved to the couple -- he remembered seeing them at the party two years ago, though lacking a formal introduction he didn't know their names -- and said to Mel, "I see you've already met Lauren's nephew. Noah, buddy, are you being gentle?"

Noah's pets became slower and more controlled. "Yes," he said, attention still fixed on Mel.

Ian chuckled. "Good man."

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : December 3, 2022 9:22 pm
narnianerd
(@assistant-lord-of-the-little-ponies)
NarniaWeb Guru

Ainsley's face suddenly became sullen and her eyes dropped to the floor where they remained as she studiously examined the texture of the hardwood flooring.

"We had a death in the family," Jeff explained carefully as he wrapped his arm around Ainsley's waist and pulled her close. 

"My father was an old man," she said while looking up to face Delia and the others, deciding to address the issue and to move past it as soon as humanly possible.

"It was his time to go, best not to dwell on it- especially in front of children on such a wonderful occasion. Do we have any warm cider this year?" 

Jeff squeezed Ainsley arm, the two made brief eye contact in which much information was exchanged. Most importantly, a slight nod on her behalf indicated that she was okay. Once her condition was confirmed, Jeffery craned his neck to face Ian and extended his free hand. 

"Merry Christmas friend! I don't believe I've ever had the pleasure of learning your name." 

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by narnianerd

If you ain't first, you're last.

Posted : December 4, 2022 1:24 am
Arwenel
(@arin)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

When Ainsley mentioned her deceased father, something sad and distant flitted across Ian's face, while Lauren stiffened and looked a little pale. She walked away without introducing herself. 

Ian looked after her, brow furrowed, before turning back to the group. "Lauren's sister is in a coma," he said in a low voice. "Car accident. Her husband's not in a great place mentally right now, so we're looking after --" he inclined his head toward Noah. The little boy was looking after his aunt, curious but unconcerned. "So uh, normally I don't do this because she really hates it when I do, but ... give her some space, if you could. And I apologize in advance if she snaps at anybody. It's been a rough few weeks."

He cleared his throat, and took Jeffrey's hand. "Ian Grayson. And my friend's Lauren Winston. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : December 4, 2022 10:34 pm
narnianerd
(@assistant-lord-of-the-little-ponies)
NarniaWeb Guru

Ainsley's eyes followed Lauren as the stranger strode away from the conversation, a look of concern stretched across her face. Her own father had died once before, but that was long before she was 'born'. Cancer was what did him the first time, but Mr. Kellner wasn't about to remain dead without a fight, not when he had so much more work. Especially not when his miners on asteroid 1542 had discovered the portal. After he passed, his underlings sent a strike team through the portal to Location #7734, where they recovered his disembodied essence. Then his corporate scientists went to work, and eventually, they figured out how to implant his life force into a synthetic body. He had arranged all of this beforehand, of course. Mr. Kellner was nothing if not thorough. He even went as far as to leave clear instructions in his will to cryogenically preserve a genetic sample of his original body, just in case the synthetic body failed. It was from that genetic sample from which Ainsley herself would later be created, her genes altered to remove the cancer proclivity, of course.

After five hundred years of upper management, the man had had enough, but Mr. Kellner wasn't about to leave his legacy to some underling. He wanted a child. Ainsley was that child. Despite being grown from a petri-dish, the old man had doted upon her. He gave her the life he had only dreamed of as the youngest son of a destitute mining family. He never pushed her to take over his mantle. He encouraged her to explore her passions, and she did for a while. But then... things happened, and Ainsley found herself deeply integrated into the inner workings of her father's company. 

She could have gone back to #7734 to get him. She'd made trip dozens of times over the past half-decade, all without her father's knowledge. She took pride in evading his detection but also in avoiding the notorious Ghost Wrangler, Ms. Death. That was part of the reason she loved coming to these parties. Eating from the table of the woman you'd managed to outsmart for so long was a sick thrill. But anyways, her father's decision was final. There would be no rescue mission. Mr. Kellner was ready to die, so he did peacefully and content.

Even knowing it was coming, his passing was still a tough pill to swallow. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose someone unexpectedly... At least to lose someone unexpectedly and not be able to get them back. Ainsley could always get them back if she really wanted to. Dear old daddy had a rule against that, but she made exceptions for herself. Besides, he was gone now anyways.

Comas were a tricky nut to crack, too, not dead, not alive, but somewhere in between. The standard operating procedure for handling one at Kellner Corp was to put the employee out of their misery. They were disposable, after all; that was the point of exclusively hiring the previously dead. Besides, they could always get another life force to fill the newly vacant meat suit. Location #7734 had nearly an inexhaustible supply, all neatly arranged in bins on rows of endless shelves just waiting to be liberated and put to work.

Ainsley glanced back at her boyfriend, he knew nothing of her family drama or her own dealings in it, and she preferred to keep it that way. Jeff was a simple man, a good man, un-corrupted by big city politics. That's why she loved him. That's why she kept him around, he kept her sane.

"I'm sorry to hear that," she replied to Ian. She mentally cursed the English language for not having a better way of expressing sympathy. Sorry held connotations of guilt, which she did not need to be reminded of at the moment. 

"If there's anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm Ainsley, by the way." 

This post was modified 2 months ago 26 times by narnianerd

If you ain't first, you're last.

Posted : December 5, 2022 1:24 am
Arwenel
(@arin)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

"Thanks," Ian said. "Sorry for your loss."

He cleared his throat, and rubbed his hands together. "Well! That's enough of that for a holiday party, eh? That buffet table looks beautiful, and I think I can hear it calling my name. Mel, you okay with hanging out with Noah for just a few seconds while I head to the table? If not, I can take him with me."

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : December 5, 2022 9:34 pm
Delia Death
(@ms-death)
Ghost Wrangler Ditto Town Host

Delia pulled a cup of popcorn out of her pocket and began shoving it in her mouth, staring at Ainsley, and, then, when she caught Ainsley's eye, daring her to break eye contact until after Delia had finished the last kernel. She licked her fingers, threw the cup in the trash, and looked down at Noah.

"Cute kid," she said as Ian turned away to the sweets. "Excuse me."

She nodded at Jeff, then turned away, heading back to the basement door, down the stairs, across the basement, and up the (other) stairs.

I'm going to get quite the leg workout....

Topic starter Posted : December 5, 2022 10:03 pm
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