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Transcript of this chapter:annabelle: Crystal, it's not working. I'm trying SO hard!
crystal: What's the problem?
annabelle: It's Alex. He's still not talking to me. I tried writing love notes to him, but he won't respond. I thought he liked me! The living are so confusing.
crystal: Well... maybe you should try another approach. He's a very... er, traditional sort of person.
annabelle: Sure, and I'm a traditional nineteenth-century type of girl. I tried everything...
annabelle: I tried to make myself up as ungothic as possible. I cooked him a nice dinner and took it over to the archives, but I can't even get into the building! He has dried bumberberry hanging over the doorway!
crystal: How does a plant keep you out?
annabelle: Dried bumberberry is a known zombie repellant. In the old days people used to hang it over their doorways to keep the dead from entering and consuming their brains.
crystal: But of course you would never do a thing like that.
annabelle: Of course! He's being completely uncivil!
crystal: What were you cooking for him?
annabelle: Uh... a pie.
crystal: A pie?
annabelle: A meat pie.
crystal: Well, that's not bad idea... Wait a minute. Where did you get the meat? From a certain faucet in the basement?
crystal: Annabelle, that's just for you. You know that, right? You can't feed human brains to that boy!
annabelle: He hasn't died yet.
crystal: You want me to beat some sense into him?
annabelle: No, I'd prefer for you to give me permission to do it. Maybe I could have a few bites of his brain...
annabelle: Oh, come on... He's not using it, and he's not going to miss it...
crystal: How do you know the bumberberry thing was intentional?
annabelle: He told me so.
crystal: Well, it doesn't get any more intentional than that.
annabelle: I know, and it's SO insulting. Bumberberry is named after me, and it's keeping me away from him!
crystal: It's named after you?
annabelle: Yeah. Alistair discovered it and its properties back when we were courting. He named it Annabelle's Bumberberry. I was so proud of it at the time, but now I'm the thing it works against.
annabelle: But you're not repelled by it. You can go to the archives and take it down for me.
crystal: Uh... actually you're probably better off not going in that place. Alex and Barlow spend a lot of time in that place, it's like a clubhouse of sorts for them.
crystal: And any place where Barlow spends his time starts to smell like him after a while... that goat-like smell.
crystal: I think you're better off without him. Maybe it's time to put this behind you. Life goes on, you know.
annabelle: No it doesn't. I'm dead.
crystal: You and Alex are too different. You're the walking embodiment of everything he fears. The two of you are totally wrong for each other.
annabelle: Like a demon falling for a demon-hunter?
crystal: Right... except that I have no idea what you're talking about. You were just saying that hypothetically, weren't you?
annabelle: Oh, absolutely.
annabelle: Speaking of...
crystal: There are other ways to win his heart and mind.
annabelle: I'll settle for just the mind.
crystal: If he's not responding to your advances, trying the opposite approach.
annabelle: Really? Bust his head open?
crystal: No. Ignore him. Trust me, a guy should have to work for it. Keep him on the line by pretending not to care at all.
annabelle: But that strategy hasn't been working for you.
crystal: Oh, it works... Hold on. There's absolutely NOTHING like that going on right now!
crystal: What are you implying?!
annabelle: Nothing, nothing. So you think I should pretend to ignore Alex? Won't he forget that I'm even here?
crystal: Oh, I don't doubt that he's very aware of your presence. But we could ask Barlow for advice, too...
crystal: Maybe he doesn't feel the same way about you.
annabelle: I KNOW he does. I know it! Why doesn't he just face up to it? I really don't understand.
crystal: Here comes Barlow. Maybe he'll have some better insight into the situation.
barlow: Who baked that meat pie in the kitchen? It smells quite fetching.
annabelle: I made it.
crystal: You didn't eat any of it, did you?!
barlow: Not yet...
crystal: Good. Don't touch it.
annabelle: No, I don't mind.
barlow: Maybe a little later. I'm too busy right now.
crystal: Busy? With what?... mislaying books all around the house?
barlow: It's MY house, but as it happens I'm working out a mystery of sorts. I needed these books on semiotics and code-breaking... and that's all you need to know about it. You wouldn't be interested, so I'm going over to the archives with Alex.
crystal: What's Alex plotting? He's using some flower to keep Annabelle from getting near him.
barlow: Maybe he just wants some distance. I don't really know, and I don't care. I'm far too busy to meddle with other people's affairs.
crystal: What's got you so busy?
barlow: If you must know, it's the fireplace in the sitting room upstairs. I think it holds some kind of secret. The carvings around the sides of it look to me like some kind of code. I take it as a challenge, you know. I have to break it.
crystal: Doesn't Annabelle look nice today?
barlow: Yeah, I guess so...
crystal: Don't you think a young mortal man would find her attractive?
barlow: Oh, this is about Alex, isn't it? I want you both to keep me out of it.
crystal: What does Alex think of Annabelle?
barlow: Alex and Annabelle? Not this stuff again.
crystal: You know Alex better than anyone, with the exception of his mother. Can't you find out for us?
barlow: It's like I'm in middle-school again...
barlow: I don't want to hear about it, and I don't have any opinion one way or the other.
barlow: I have far more important things to think about than silly little small-town romances. I'm not interested in what goes on in this town, I'm leaving Spider Cliff the moment the bridge is back up.
crystal: That could be a while.
barlow: In the meantime, I'm immersing myself in philosophical study. It's the least I can do to prepare for the future. Alex can worry about all that local supernatural stuff.
crystal: I think that humans and the supernatural can be paired up quite nicely.
barlow: Well, that's certainly... humans and the super-
barlow: No! That kind of combination would NEVER work! Why, using that kind of logic, one would suggest...
crystal: I didn't mean it like that!
barlow: I'm glad that we can agree! And now I've got more important places to be.
crystal: What are you running away from, huh Barlow?! Who needs you, anyway?
crystal: Don't forget to take a pie of that pie on the way out!
crystal: Fine, let him go waste his time with that stupid code or whatever it is. It'll probably amount to another waste of time.
annabelle: He might break the code, or I could just tell him how to get into the secret passage behind that fake fireplace.
crystal: Barlow is a complete idiot, but at least he helped me make my mind up...
crystal: If I accomplish one thing, it's going to help get you and Alex together!
crystal: So you REALLY don't care?
barlow: Nope. Whatever goes on between Alex and Annabelle is none of my business.
crystal: That's a pretty cavalier attitude.
barlow: Well, just because I have standards doesn't mean I should hold them over Alex.
crystal: Wait a minute... why do I feel insulted by that?
annabelle: YOU feel insulted? That was directed towards me.
crystal: I'm not so sure of that. And I'm also not so sure that Barlow is as neutral as he pretends to be.
crystal: That's it, we're going to do everything in our power to get you and Alex together. Barlow won't act so smug when that happens!