Lindsay King-Miller’s previous work for The Toast can be found here.
Here at the Final Girl Groves Retirement Home, we provide top-quality live-in care, recreational activities, and social opportunities for Final Girls in their senior years. If you’re a smart, resourceful, pretty-but-not-too-slutty woman who has survived brutal serial killers, zombie attacks, vengeful spirits, and the return of secrets from your own dark past, we believe you deserve to spend your golden years in peace and tranquility. Facing off against machete-wielding psychopaths is a young woman’s game. Relax and let us take care of you!
Final Girl Groves is a sprawling one-story facility designed with your comfort in mind. There are no basements, attics, or unused storage rooms, as those can attract dust bunnies and poltergeists. Every residential room has at least two exits in addition to a window. Rooms feature ample storage space in the form of a generous bookshelf and chest of drawers, but absolutely no closets. Our telephones do not accept calls from blocked numbers or anyone using a voice changer.
The land now housing Final Girl Groves has never been the site of a mass burial, a human sacrifice, or a child disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Although this area was once heavily forested, no local legends ever spoke of an old woman living deep in the trees, sometimes emerging in the form of a crow or a wolf.
We offer our residents a variety of recreational activities to choose from. Keep your body active with Hand-to-Hand Cardio and Light Weapons Training, or indulge your artistic side by creating a scrapbook of all your horrifically murdered friends and loved ones. We have visiting clergy of every major faith on a rotating schedule to perform services, offer counseling, and remove demonic possessions and curses. Non-denominational exorcisms are available on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. Specially trained trauma counselors are also available twenty-four hours a day, and are always on the lookout for signs of depression, anxiety, or insomnia, which can surface in Final Girls even decades after their third or fourth sequel. Please let us know if you’re experiencing sleeplessness, loss of appetite, or sudden bursts of Latin speech while bleeding from the eyes.
Animal therapy is available, and many residents report that forming a nurturing bond with a dog or cat provides a sense of safety and stability. Don’t worry – when they’re not with you, our therapy animals are boarded behind bulletproof glass in rooms that can only be accessed by retina scan. We’re not going to let what happened to your last pet happen ever again.
Since most of our residents have no living friends or family, visitors to Final Girl Groves are few and are subjected to extreme scrutiny. No distant relatives of your vanquished enemies will be allowed within 150 feet of the doors. Also, no reporters interested in getting the truth about “what really happened,” and no enigmatic strangers with no legal existence before last year. We all know how reboots get started!
All of our staff undergo thorough background checks to ensure that they were never the sole survivor of a fire, nor bullied so badly as children that they were forced to seek gruesome revenge. None of them have a shadowy family connection to an unspeakable secret. They do not know what you did last summer.
Our premises are kept in pristine condition by a dedicated team of maintenance workers who clean and air out rooms, check walls for the bodies of teenagers who went missing in the 1950s, and make sure no dolls or picture frames have moved from wherever you last put them. They also look for shadows on the wall cast by no visible object, and anything that could be used to gouge out your eyeballs. Your comfort comes first! Weekly inspections guarantee that the water heater will never be tampered with so as to scald you alive.
We are especially proud of our developing Final Girls Mentor Program, the first of its kind, which pairs veteran participants with youth in our community who are at risk of becoming Final Girls. Potential Final Girls are identified based on grade-point average, hair color (no blondes), modesty of dress (no one who wears stilettos to high school is going to survive a prom night bloodbath), and propensity to hang out with other wisecracking, photogenic teens who will get killed first. The Mentor Program not only gives our residents a sense of purpose, which can alleviate mental health issues and even slow the progression of senility, but results in significant increases in positive outcomes for teenaged participants — such as keeping cell phones fully charged at all times, making improvised weapons from common household items, and running out the back door instead of up the stairs. With programs like this, we hope to dramatically increase the percentage of Final Girls who make it to the end of their franchises.
If you have any questions, we are happy to set up an informational meeting or a tour. Join us at Final Girl Groves Retirement Home and make the end of your life count! We’ve been waiting for you a long, long time.
Illustrator: Matt Lubchansky makes comics and occasionally leaves his apartment in New York. His work includes Please Listen to Me and New Amsterdam Mystery Company. He’s on Twitter, and doesn’t expect you to get his name right.