Chapter 0:

Please don't skip this. I know it's marked "Chapter 0", but I swear it's important! ❤

The Plight Before Christmas

Christmas Eve, 2021…Bookmark here

Laika could hear it, all through the house. ‘Not a creature was stirring’, my ASS! the wolfgirl thought, a single bead of sweat rolling down her cheek as she tried to locate the sound of the noise. Was it ghosts? Or pranksters? Or ghost pranksters? The unmistakable sound of a music box playing almost made Laika jump out of her own skin and fur! Suddenly, a voice slowly spoke. Laika froze in place. And then it got louder. Suddenly the eldritch dirge was surrounded by sleigh bells and… and… and drums?Bookmark here

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need…Bookmark here

Laika swung her head around. There it was – the radio! The source of that most unholy sound. The very sound that had been driving yuletide convenience store workers mad since 1994. With once swift motion, Laika withdrew the sword from between her belt and waist, swiftly slashing the radio in two like a salesperson demonstrating the power of Flex Tape.Bookmark here

“Hmph,” the wolfgirl puffed out her rather average-sized, non-objectified chest, putting the sword back through her belt and placing her hands triumphantly on her red-skirted hips, “Finally! All is calm, all is bright.”Bookmark here

But it wasn’t bright. It was 4PM in December in the northern hemisphere. But that pitch-blackness wasn’t going to stop Laika from alluding to the lyrics of Silent Night. When Laika Moonlight decided to make a reference, as she often did, nothing on Earth would stop her from making it, regardless of how cringe and not-at-all lit it may have been. This was Laika’s worst quality (or “best quality”, if your sense of humor is just as bad and self-deprecating as hers). Really, she had ought to have stopped doing that years ago, lest this novel would be a VERY painful read for all involved. …Nah, that ain’t happening, though. #DealWithItBookmark here

“Now,” Laika sighed, dusting her hands off and leaping back onto her JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind-themed bed, “where was I, before I was interrupted by that… noise?” She paused as she stared blankly at her anime figurine case, trying to remember what she was thinking about before Mariah Carey so rudely interrupted her. “Oh, that’s right!” Laika exclaimed, as a metaphorical light bulb illuminated above her head. “The Moon! I was going to get a Christmas present for Waifu-chan!”Bookmark here

Laika opened the doors of the figurine cabinet and withdrew a small figure of the character Waifu-chan from the anime and manga franchise Kore o hon'yaku dekireba, yoku dekimashita from in amongst the trademarked figures which couldn’t be used as major plot-devices in this novel, lest I have my ass sued into oblivion.Bookmark here

Like many anime figurines, Waifu-chan was wearing a Playboy-style bunny-girl outfit which she never wore within the canon of her series. Also akin to most anime figures, especially those Laika purchased on eBay, this particular Waifu-chan was a bootleg. In addition to the copyright on her base reading “Nintendo” instead of “Kore o hon'yaku dekireba, yoku dekimashita” the box she had arrived in had also labeled her as being Mai Sakurajima from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. Other than that, the figure itself was a convincing knockoff. How bootleggers managed to get their hands on legitimate factory molds was always a mystery to Laika. But that’s enough pointless exposition for now. What Waifu-chan actually looked like is irrelevant. You can imagine she looked identical to Marilyn Monroe, Hitagi Senjougahara or Tequila Joseph for all I care!Bookmark here

Laika stuffed Waifu-chan into her skirt (don’t worry, it thankfully [and bizarrely] had pockets) and looked up at the slowly-appearing Moon. Yes, her brilliant plan. She was going to snatch the Moon that the gods had bestowed upon Earth from the sky and regift it to Waifu-chan for Christmas. (Like Despicable Me, but without any minions to increase merchandise sales. Or like Waifu-chan in her own anime Kore o hon'yaku dekireba, yoku dekimashita when she used her psychic demon powers to disrupt the Moon’s phases and disable her werewolf adversary’s powers. Sadly, Kore o hon'yaku dekireba, yoku dekimashita isn’t a real anime, but if that sounded cool to you, you could always just read Two Beings, Or Not Two Beings? by L. Moonlight? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) Laika stepped outside, waifu in pocket and mug of tea in hand. She wasn’t sure HOW she’d take the Moon, but she was sure she’d do whatever she could to take it, logic and conventional storytelling be damned! There were only eight hours left before midnight. Eight hours before Christmas. Laika had to get the damn Moon as soon as possible!Bookmark here

…And so, Laika’s quest to steal the Moon and give it to her tiny plastic bunny-girl from some anime that the author made up began.Bookmark here

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