IRL (I) is the hundred-and-twenty-third chapter of Darbi.
A groggy and distracted Darby is woken up for school by his mother. She tells him that breakfast was in the microwave and to share it with his brother and sister this time. She then says she'll see them once she gets home from work. Still groggy, human Darby stares at himself in the bathroom mirror and curses.
Visibly pumped for the day, Pete playfully greets his "late asses" siblings as they wait for the school bus. Dolla asks how they could be late when they were going to the same place but Pete retorts that she was always the last out the door before dropping a gem he got from Uncle Tuck. Dolla sharply retorts that Uncle Tuck drinks every day at 2:30 and if Pete got that from him too.
Grizzled, Pete asks Darby what was up with him and he replies that he was just having weird dreams. While Dolla messages an unknown and mysterious person on her phone, Pete asks Darby if his dream was some porn shit and, after Darby bites at the idea, Pete affirms that since Darby wasn't screaming it couldn't have been one of his nightmares. Darby then explains he dreamed he was dying. Pete replies he dreamed about clowns and says he'll trade. At that, Pete cornily hollers for the school bus to stop and pick them all up.
On the school bus, Darby muses on the safe routines and patterns that keep him grounded, the necessary lie to distract him from the terrifying fact that he knows this human existence he lives in isn't real; but by focusing on the routine instead of the terrifying feeling, it keeps the mind running like a well-oiled machine. As Darby steps off the bus, his green eyes become burnt orange and gain slitted pupils and he curses aloud as he sees a small red dinosaur greeting him.
Eventually the machine breaks...
Notes & Trivia
- A family photo of Darby's mother and father can be seen early on. Considering the three-clawed scar on the father's face (as well as the second picture of him bearing the words "in loving memory"), one may infer this to be Charmer's human representation.
- The chapter aligns with Peet's toad trip that he has in Season 2 Chapter 23.