Whoops! I didn’t realize until just now that we had two versions of this page in our database. The earlier version originally ran in this annotation. It featured some oversized lettering that wasn’t in the final. Should be fixed now.

We’re taking a page from Geoffrey Chaucer here, with our friendly pilgrims agreeing to a contest of storytelling that establishes a larger conflict and an excuse to deliver a few sub-stories. Those sub-stories will introduce our lead characters further and gently subvert this whole holiday-special format, even as the larger story has already embraced it.

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales went over 17,000 lines unfinished and would’ve taken twice his lifetime to complete; we have twelve pages, so the scope of ambition’s a little different. But still, steal from the best!

The comments in panels 2 and 3 are all pretty self-descriptive. I think it’s likely at least one of Chrissie’s parents cared about her, but she definitely knows what it’s like when family members don’t care enough about each other.