Narrator: Juliet Flanagan
My analog watch read 6:50 PM. A lily pad in the centre, and frog's feet as the pointed hands. Murky water beneath the glass.
Damn it, we were early. Oh well, that'd give me time to run my fingers through Kieth's hair. Mwuhahaha!
I rang the doorbell, and closed my eyes. My mother's make-up, which I wasn't accustomed to, seemed to weigh heavy upon my eyelashes. What'd they put in it, lead?
The door opened surprisingly fast, as if someone had been watching my unfortunately lonesome approach. I knew Michelle was already here, as she phoned me before leaving.
Eyes still closed, I heard Joshua's voice, "Juliet, come on in. The party's about to start."
"Where is ye old wench, monsieur?" I asked, snobby French accent flowing freely, "She hath stolen my frogilicious 'brella,"
If there was ever anything with a frog theme, I had surely bought it.
"Michelle!" he yelled off in some direction or another, "Stop stealing from Julie."
I opened my eyes, and immediately burst into hysterical laughter. Joshua's hair was gelled into spikes on one side, and on the other it fell about his forehead in a messy Harry-Potter sort of way.
He turned beat read, "S-s-sorry, Julie, I haven't had time to finish combing my hat-hair."
Geez, he's so cute when he stutters, I thought.
Michelle approached, pretending to pout, as I stepped through the doorway. I pretended to bitch-slap her, hitting my thigh at the same time to make it sound real as her head moved in tandem.
"Never!" I screamed. "Never again. Can't you see I'm soaking wet because of you?"
"Sorry, Master Bagginses," she muttered, now immitating Gollum, "But the fat hobbit made me do it!" she pointed at Joshua, who wasn't fat by any means. Unlike me. Yes, I even look like a frog, if it must be known.
I stared at Joshua sternly, "Is this true?" He had perfect skin, without a mole, blackhead, zit or blemish of any kind. Some corners of his face still maintained a hint of childish baby fat.
"Jack Sparrow is a foul and despicable liar!" he said, voice in an Elizabeth Swan falsetto, and finger pointed back at Michelle.
She hiccuped, and said something in the pirate's voice as she turned around to walk off, "Where has all the rum gone?"
Kieth stood in the shadow of the stairway that headed upstairs, away from the front hall. Like a statue, he was immobile. Even his jaw, trying not to betray his utter amusement.
It was at that very moment that I chose to make firm eye contact with him.
And he fled, bounding up the stairs, as would a rabbit at the corner of a road as a car passes in the night. A large rabbit. With long, dark brown ears. Ears to stroke...
However, if my prey continued to elude me, I'd be sure to catch Junior off-guard and untie his wretched ponytail. Blond, silky hair washed, if I was lucky, in Herbal Essences. It was a little too easy to picture him in the commercial, orgasmically rubbing his frothing scalp.
One way or another, I'd meet my needs.
Joshua took my raincoat and put it in the closet to drip.
I made my way over to the couch beside Michelle, and got the bland conversation over with -- homework. After that, I hoped, she'd have utterly no reason to mention it once the actual party began. She had a duty to entertain us.
Joshua went upstairs, unfortunately, and fixed his hair.
God fuckin' damn it, I had totally misread one of the questions for English. Well, God fuckin' damn bless Michelle! Saved again. I'd have time to change my answer when I got home, if I wasn't distracted again.
Oh wait -- it's a Friday! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Buddah!
I'd have time to fix it and to satisfy my random indulgences.
Then came a knock at the door. And before Joshua made his way down the stairs, the door opened on its own. Brent walked in, alone.
My heart sank. My thoughts reeled, no fish on the hook.
N-n-no Leslie? Waaaah! Where for art thou Leslie?
Get thee to a nunnery, Brent!
The truth was, we only put up with him because they were a package deal. Brent without Leslie was like... brocolli without cheese sauce!
Michelle put her tiny hand on mine, letting me know that the disappointment was mutual.
"She just needs a minute or two to collect herself," I heard him tell Joshua with an edge of reluctance in his voice.
Oooh, oooh, are they fighting? Are they?
Michelle and I immediately began jumping where we sat, clapping our hands against each other in secret amusement.
Joshua pretended not to notice, as he put out a bowl of chips on the foot stool in the middle of the room.
Brent took the seat beside us, and began to be charming. Yes, charming. I can't deny him that. It was routine, with every woman. And Leslie somehow knew that was simply the way he was. Had he no shame?
We made small-talk. Gawd damn ladies' man. All the while, my hand trembled on my knee; ready to whack him on the head were he to spew innuendo upon my blouse.
Minutes had passed, and she wasn't at the door. When I glanced out the window, I caught a glimpse of a purple-wigged black-clad young woman crouched in the bushes beside Joshua's front porch.
I turned past Brent with an amused look on my face, to look at Michelle, on my left. I whispered, "Look carefully out the window."
Michelle graced us with an exaggerated and fake Parisian laugh, "Oh hoh hoh hooowh..."
Confused, Brent reached for some chips.
That's when I smelled something odd. It was an unfamiliar smell, laced with pheromones of some sort. Somewhat like eggs. Somewhat like burning wood.
Joshua returned downstairs, with Kieth on his tail. Kieth was ranting about something or another and touching his hair possessively. I grinned, as I continued to sniff out the source of -- Was the cheap bastard actually wearing cologne?!
Michelle caught me sniffing the air and said something very strange, "Kieth installed black lights in the basement." I was afraid it was a joke of our inner circle that had somehow escaped my grasp. What the fuck is a black light?
"Nevermind," she advised. Tone serious, perhaps disgusted. Assuring me, "I'll explain later."
I was all too grateful when the awkward silence that followed was interrupted not only by Brent's munching of chips, but by a buzz of the doorbell.
I turned back out the window. The glare from the chandelier obscured my view of who was at the door, but as they entered, I noticed that Leslie remained perfectly still. This is not who she intends to ambush.
"Patience is a virtue," I muttered under my breath, as I stole three chips from the handful on Brent's lap and put them in my mouth.
Brent, didn't react. He just stared off into the empty room, no longer talking with us. There was an unfamiliar look of extreme impatience on his face. Yet there was something familiar as well: jelousy.
"Patients, Juliet?" Michelle asked, "Are we going to play doctor?"
I laughed, rather than playing along, and continued to look out the window. It never occured to me that I had completely ignored our newest arrival.
And that perfect chance for innuendo passed right by Brent.
I almost pitied the guy. But not enough to touch his short, greasy, brown hair.