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  • SaberRoy

    Huh, really didn’t think Mal knew Harry was there.

    • Dud

      They really are in the same physical space outside Mal’s head so anything voiced could get through in the usual way.,

      Hey, at least young Mal got a bed and a large room. Might have been a lot worse.

      • AJ

        I still don’t see food.

        • Azmodan

          You also don’t see him pooping.

          Yet, we know he survives to grow up, so we can assume both happen.

          • AJ

            In a single nearly empty room. You’re only making my point more awful.

            • Azmodan

              Actually, I’m not. There is no evidence he is not let out to use a bathroom.

              Also there is a plate in the first panel, and a plate and cup in the second panel. So we see evidence of him eating and drinking.

      • Amy

        Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to see significantly worse than this in the /all ages/ comic. Locking up a kid alone for who knows how long is bad enough even if he’s fed regularly and has space to move.

        Also, I’m just going to leave this article on the effects of solitary confinement here:

        • Amy

          (Er, that article I linked is SFW and is on PBS, but, well, some definite content warnings.)


    • Death’s too good for her. But it’ll do.

      • AJ

        Hey, what’s on the other end of death might be what’s coming to her.

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    I sense a Kick to the Butt coming on any moment now…

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    “I think I like blue”

  • Phlebas

    Ahhh. Sloth as depression rather than laziness? Nasty.
    Kick her arse, Harry. Kick it hard.

    • Sir. Orc

      Sloth, like all the sins has a number of interpretations and aspects.The virtues too. If I remember correctly traits attributed to Sloth are depression, laziness, wasting time on trivialities at the expense of things that need to be done, and apathy in a moral sense (think something along the lines of banality of evil – knowing of evil but tolerating it simply because it is easy)

      • Redscarf

        How about sleep paralysis. Sorry, just suffered that last night, and it’s horribly slothy. Steps go as follows
        1 False wake up. You are in bed unable to move, yet afflicted with an urgent need to get up.
        2 Mild dissociation. The strongest efforts you can produce allow you a mild sense of split location. You are lying in the same position but have somehow also rolled over.
        3. Stronger dissociation. You have gotten out of bed, and feel the floor under your feet, see you bedroom before your eyes, but still feel your sheets around you, and the room is largely blotted out by a haze that exactly resembles your ceiling.
        4. False release. You suddenly wake up in exactly the position you had dreamed yourself in. Except you’re not actually awake. Return to step 1.
        5-25 Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Have a long, unending dream consisting entirely of unsuccessful attempts to get out of bed. Forget sanity, forget hope, forget everything but the brutal need to move, even if just an inch.
        26. Wake up for real. Get out of bed and kiss the blessed ground for existing. Weep a little from terror and relief. Use the bathroom, get a glass of water, anything just to confirm you’re really awake.
        27. Realize it’s the middle of the night.
        28. You have to go back to sleep.
        29. You have to get in that bed, lie down, and let sleep take you.
        30. Stare in horror at your bed for a little while. If you are religious, now is a good time to pray.
        31. Go back to sleep.

        • Sir. Orc

          The attributes of the deadlies and the virtues are generally old things, dating back to the time of Dante (since of course, they aren’t mentioned directly in the bible). As such, their nature is a bit more spiritual than what sleep paralysis would imply, think of them more like a cosmic moral force or general attitude a person may have than as simple physical actions or personality traits. That’s not quite right, but close enough. The point of virtues and sins is that man chooses to follow them.

          • Redscarf

            Sleep paralysis isn’t exactly new. Tales of the “old hag”, “night hag”, or “mare” (a type of demon in this instance), have been used as explanations of sleep paralysis in Europe for centuries, with other cultures having their own explanations (most leaning heavily towards demonic intervention). You are right though, that there’s very little moral aspect in sleep paralysis, less so than even depression. Please accept my apologies for a long-winded post that added little to the discussion.

        • Nothing to add except that I’m sorry you had that, it sounds horrible!

        • If possible, I always try and go back to sleep at step 1. Just remember it’s only your brain not waking up properly. There’s a bit in there that shuts down and stops you walking around while your’re dreaming. If it doesn’t shut down you go sleep walking. If it doesn’t start up when you wake up you get sleep paralysis. Going back to sleep restarts your brain and hopefully it boots up properly next time.

        • Amy

          Ugggh, I get sleep paralysis all the time and it sucks. My tips for dealing with it are generally-

          1. Try to move anything you can (eyes, fingers, toes, etc.) while counting. You can usually move a little bit, just not your entire body.
          2. Try to sit up entirely as soon as you can and wake up properly. I rarely get another bout after I’ve shaken the chemicals out of my system and then lain back down.
          3. If you’re getting it particularly bad, set an alarm around when you expect to wake up. The sudden noise tends to jolt you.

          I know that people recommend going back to sleep, but I’ve never been able to, even while fully aware that it’s just sleep paralysis and will go away.

  • I’m ennui the eighth, I am, I am

  • Emily

    So Mal can hear her! I was sure he didn’t even know she was in the flashback with him.

    • Del

      Likewise. This is a small shock.

      Getting out of this cell is important. It might help us get out of this dream.

  • brushtail

    Is that him eating food on the floor in the middle of panel 3 or is he playing with something?

    • Ryden

      I think those are his boots next to him. Notice how his feet are green? And you can see the tops of green socks over his boots in the first panel.

    • Redscarf

      You can see his thumb at the bottom of his hand, so his palm must be facing out. Where I come from an empty hand held to the face indicates covering a yawn.

  • Tikatu

    Time for that two minute respite from the other witches? Time for them to show up as they said they would? Or is Harry’s ass-kicking going to have to suffice?

    • Emily

      I’m betting the two-minute respite will get used when it comes down to the final battle with Luxuria himself. That’s when the stakes will be highest and things are likely to be most desperate.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Finally, I understand. During those intervening years, traveling across the continent, Mal wasn’t running away from some*thing* in Widdershins. He was running away from some*one* in Widdershins. Her.

  • AJ

    My heart breaks for Mal, it really does, but I still kinda hope Harry yanks him up by his scarf and gets him moving. He’s an adult now and doesn’t have to be cowed by a [*ahem hem*] and what she did to him. Remember, Mal, you give back as good as you get!

  • Sir. Orc

    It just struck me, but Harry saying Acedia is worse than she thought is saying something considering that she knows that Acedia was the one who shot her grandfather

    • Maria Gerasimova

      Harry knows, Izzi told her.
      But she didn’t know how Acedia looked. Now she know it:

      • Sir. Orc

        What I meant was, she said that Acedia is worse than she thought, and I can’t imagine that she thought highly of the woman who shot her grandfather in the first place, hence her actions in the flashback are even lower morally than attempted homicide.

        • CountSessine

          Agreed. As a hunter, and the granddaughter of a hunter, she’s used to the idea that the quarry may try to kill. They pretty much all do, that we’ve seen. She doesn’t think highly of any of them, of course, and Acedia shooting her grandfather definitely makes it personal. But doing this to a little kid… that’s lower than low.

        • Alétheia

          *attempted homicide of someone she loves and holds in extremely high esteem, you mean…

          But… yeah, oof. For Harry to say that after knowing Acedia shot him in an effort to- …actually, hell. For all she knows right now, Acedia could have succeeded in the “attempted” murder and her grandfather could be dead, Nicola’s best efforts to save him aside, and she still said that about how she treated tiny!Mal. :(

  • Hominid

    “I see. Unacceptable.” *throws mal at the door hard enough to break it*

  • Imagine Ink

    Mal continues to be relatable.

  • bluestarsurfer

    *sitcom music* Stay tuned for next week’s Sad and Tired Children Who Need Hugs, featuring Ben Thackerey and Jack O’Malley falling deeper into an existential malaise that’s been creeping up on them for several booooks!

    …*sobs grossly in a corner*

  • Emily

    I like how little Mal and big Mal are sitting in more or less the same pose in panel 2.

    • Ocean Burning.

      And kid Mal and adult Mal in panels two and three respectively are mirroring each other (diagonally)

      • Emily

        Wow, they totally are! They even have the same glower.

  • The Doc K

    Let it be known that in this instance, Harry has said many more words than O’Malley

  • Alétheia

    Nooooooooo…. each new page makes me want to adopt Mal more and more and take care of him and treat him kindly (even if he’d be suspicious and grumpy about it, at least at first?). Stop iiiiiitt! DX

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