It continues once more
It's been months since you defied the Pic Master's orders and opened the eBaums Box of Never-Ending Cringe
. Months of hardship, of struggle
as you've tried your best to keep the few townsfolk left safe. The cringe-fiends have ravaged the town, and only grown in number. Through TikTok and obscure subreddits, the cringe-fiends have only grown in strength, sweeping across the state.
Supplies are running dangerously low in your survivor's camp, hidden away in the forest. You have maybe a week's worth of the Cool Pics and Dank Memes you need to fend off the cringe. You don't even have any Fun Randoms left.
And the Cringe-Fiends have found your camp.
Sitting stock-still and dead silent inside your tent, you glance over to young Jimothy right as the shadow of a Cringe-Fiend passes by. The boy's eyes are agleam with animal fear. You raise a finger to your lips, try to tell him with your own eyes that everything will be okay. But you are tired, so tired. And the act is difficult.
There's a small stockpile of Cool Randoms on the other side of the camp. Not a lot -- but perhaps just
enough to clear out the group that's snuck into the camp. And leave you with nothing.
You try to squash the thought but you can't.Even if you do make it out of this one, what about the next time? And the time after that?
It gnaws at you. You look at Jimothy, quivering, eyes locked on you.
Listening, you count at least seven Cringe-Fiends moving about the night, beatboxing -- with sincerity
. You can hear their chlorophyll waters sloshing around inside their elaborate fanny packs. You can hear the frightened whispers of Old Jameson and his wife, Jimena. Your mind races, searching for a way to get to the Cool Randoms without being struck down first. Some way. Somehow. You look once more to Jimothy, young Jimothy.
And then it hits you like a slap in the face.
You throw open the tent and, with all your strength, hurl a still-surprised young Jimothy into the nearest crowd of cringe-fiends. Wailing, Jimothy topples them over and immediately succumbs to the cringe, writing around on the ground in gut-twisting embarrassment. He will soon be one of them
. No time to think. You have more to save. Get to the Cool Randoms
You sprint, leaping over the cold ashes of your campfire and make a bee-line for the emergency stockpile at the edge of the clearing. You duck under a few overused hashtags as the cringe-fiends wail and golf clap after you. They're getting close. You dive for it.
You can feel their sweaty touch as they dogpile on your back -- you reach out through the contorted mess, your hand fumbling with the lock of the emergency kit. Forgive me, Jimothy.
You open it.