I finally woke up. I had been floating in nothingness for what felt like hours, but it was finally over. Limbo sure was boring.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Kenny, you said you went to Heaven or Hell." Well, sometimes I do. But I usually go to Limbo, which is this big…well, as I said, it's nothing. There's literally nothing in Limbo.
I've only been to Heaven three times; once when I sacrificed myself to save the world, once when the angels needed me to save them from Satan's army, and once when I converted to Mormonism for a while.
I've been to Hell a lot more, but it's usually only after I've done something bad (or, as I say, naughty), like when I skipped out on church to go see Asses of Fire. Or when I killed myself via autoerotic asphyxiation (which was totally worth it, but don't try it; you don't get to come back afterwards, like I do). The rest of the time, I go to Limbo. I guess Satan was tired of dealing with me all the time.
So, anyway, I finally woke up. I didn't have any wasp stings, but I could still feel them. Phantom pains. I looked out the window, and saw that it was nighttime. So much for going over to Eric's.
Since I wasn't tired at all, I walked around the house to see if anyone else was awake. I didn't hear a sound coming from my siblings' rooms, and my parents' room was as silent as the grave (yeah, yeah, that was a pretty bad joke). But when I got to the living room, I heard the sound of sobbing.
It was my mom.
"It's all my fault," she sniffed, talking apparently to herself. "Why did I listen to them? Why did I get involved?"
I cleared my throat. She looked up, startled. "Oh, Kenny, you're awake." She tried to look as though she hadn't been crying, but her eyes were still very red and puffy.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Oh, it was just something stupid that I did," she said. Ordinarily, I might have let it go at that, but she looked more upset than I had ever seen her.
Now, please understand: anything I've said against my parents so far is really just teen angst coming out of me. I consider myself very lucky to have the parents I do. They aren't idiots like Stan's dad. They are overbearing bitches like Kyle's mom. They aren't wimpy pushovers like Eric's mom. And they aren't brutal dictators like the Stotches: poor Butters probably has it worse than any of us.
Sure, my parents are drunks. Sure, they are poor. They are lazy. They do fight with each other, and I sometimes smell weed coming from their room at night. But despite that, despite all their own difficulties, they have never treated their children with anything but the love and respect that a kid can expect from his parents. They have taken more shit from life than anyone I know (except me), and they don't take it out on their kids, and so I think I probably have the best parents a kid in South Park could ask for.
And this concern for my parents was what prompted me to wonder what was making my mom so sad. "What was it?" I asked.
She shook her head, not wanting to answer.
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
She sniffed back another tear. "Just…just be careful, Kenny…"
I laughed in spite of myself. "I do try, Mom." Though being careful rarely worked.
"I just…don't think I could bear to see it again…"
Suddenly, I got a lump in my throat. I wasn't sure why, but I felt a sense of foreboding. "Um…see what?"
She didn't answer, and I definitely got the feeling it was something about me. And suddenly the answer hit me like a train (though not quite as painfully).
"You mean, you don't want to see me die again, do you?"
She stopped crying and stared at me in shock, and I knew I had guessed correctly. We both looked at each other as though seeing each other for the first time. My mom, Carol McCormick, knew of my curse, and had never told me she knew. But the way she was looking at me…it was like she didn't know that I had known.
"Kenny, you know?" she asked, her voice frail with horror.
"Yeah. I remember every single time." I paused. "And you remember?"
"Yes, I do. And if I hadn't been so stupid, maybe none of it would have happened."
I looked at her, sorry that she was so upset, and also a little mad that she had known something all this time. "Mom, can we please talk about this?"
"I don't know if I can…"
"It's about the cult meeting, wasn't it?"
She stopped. I realized that I wasn't supposed to know that; she had told Mysterion about the Cult of Cthulhu, not me.
"All right, I'll tell you," she said. "But…I think I'll need to get a drink first." She got up and walked to the kitchen.
"Mom?" I asked.
"Can I have one, too?"