I pwn the internet today. I’m posting at Fatal Foodies about my experience with Seaweed Salad, and I have a guest post at the wonderful Buried Under Books called “Using People For Fun and Profit.”
by Marian Allen
If Mommy and Daddy had to do Date Nights, Dee-Dee loved it when Shannon came to watch her. Shannon made popcorn and got on the floor and played, just like Mommy and Daddy. Shannon played dancey music and taught Dee-Dee how to dance and sing new songs.
But then Shannon got the Magic Boyfriend. When he started coming over after Mommy and Daddy left, Shannon wasn’t any fun anymore.
The first time he came, Shannon was all happy about it. But he acted like Dee-Dee was hardly even there. He told Dee-Dee, “I’m a bad magician, yeah? You better stay away from me, or I’ll turn you into a frog. You just go play somewhere, and don’t let me see you or hear you. And don’t spy on us, or else. Got it?”
Shannon said, “Oh, gee—” and the Magic Boyfriend shoved her and said, “Don’t use my name.”
After that, Wednesdays were pretty boring. It was kind of fun to pretend she was all alone in the house, like she was the Mommy, but it wasn’t fun for very long. Shannon always left her lots of juice boxes and cracker snacks in the playroom, but that wasn’t the same as when they would have snack parties together.
She could hear Shannon and the Magic Boyfriend in the front room, talking and laughing and playing really loud, bangy music. Sometimes they got quiet and Shannon would go, “Oh! Oh!” Dee-Dee wondered what magic the Magic Boyfriend was doing, like was he sawing her in half, or sticking swords through her and she wasn’t hurt after, like the magicians on television?
She never peeked, though, because she liked frogs but she didn’t want to be one.
This Wednesday, Shannon brought her a new thing.
“It’s like a magic coloring book,” she said. She put it on Dee-Dee’s play table and opened it to the first page. The picture was already kind of filled in, with little dots where you were supposed to color. Shannon brought in a cup of water and a box of cotton swabs, like Mommy used to clean the outside of Dee-Dee’s ears. She dipped one end of a swab in water and rubbed it over a piece of the picture.
Color came out! The dots disappeared, and red paint came out on the paper!
Shannon said, “Don’t use too much water, though, or it’ll get all soggy. ’Kay?”
“Did your boyfriend make this book?”
Shannon laughed, but not the happy way she used to laugh. “No, Swee’Pea, he didn’t.”
It seemed mean, but Dee-Dee couldn’t help saying, “I wish he didn’t come. I miss how we used to do.”
Shannon gave her a big hug and stroked her hair. Then there was a big knock on the back door, and the Magic Boyfriend was there and Dee-Dee was alone in her playroom again.
The magic coloring book was so much fun, she did everything really slowly and really carefully so the paper wouldn’t get soggy, and so the book would last longer.
Then one of the Magic Boyfriend’s bangy songs ended, and she heard that he and Shannon were discussing. When she and her friends shouted at each other, it was fighting, but with grownups it was called discussing. She couldn’t tell what Shannon and the Magic Boyfriend were discussing about, but they were really loud.
There was a sound like hands clapping once, and Shannon squealed and sobbed. The Magic Boyfriend must have done some kind of mean magic, made Shannon’s favorite purse turn pink or something. Shannon didn’t like pink, except for Hello Kitty. He clapped again and again.
“Stop it!” Shannon yelled, kind of crying, too.
Maybe he turned all her clothes pink, too. Dee-Dee giggled. She wanted to go see, but she remembered she wasn’t supposed to.
There was a big thump and Shannon cried out like she was hurt! Dee-Dee jumped when it happened, and she turned over her water, all over her new book! She grabbed a sweatshirt and sopped most of it up, but the colors were running all over. She needed help, but she couldn’t go in the front room!
Mommy had told her, over and over, “You’ll never need to know this, but, just in case, if you need help and there isn’t a grownup around to help you, get on the telephone and call 911.”
But the telephone was in the front room.
She went into the hallway, just outside the front room. She couldn’t see in, but she could hear The Magic Boyfriend telling Shannon to shut up and Shannon crying like she was hurt.
Dee-Dee drew in as much breath as she could and yelled, “911! 911! 911!”
The Magic Boyfriend filled the doorway, taller than Daddy, almost as wide as a door.
“What?” His eyes were squinched up mean and he was breathing hard.
Dee-Dee backed away. He stepped after her.
“What?” he said again. “Answer me, you little turd.”
Oh, no! Even a frog would be better than that! Maybe he hadn’t done the magic yet. Maybe he wouldn’t turn her, if she answered him.
“I called 911, that’s all.”
“I called 911.”
He said a word she didn’t know – probably a magic one to turn her into whatever she was now – and ran out the back door.
She heard Shannon behind her. Shannon’s hair and clothes were all messy, and a little blood was coming out of her nose. She had red blotches on her cheeks and she had been crying.
“Am I a frog,” Dee-Dee asked, “or a turd?”
Shannon dropped onto her knees and put her arms around Dee-Dee. “You’re neither one,” she said. “You’re a precious, brilliant little girl.”
“But he said a magic word.”
“So did you. And your magic word was stronger than his magic, wasn’t it?”
“Oh! Is that what happened? I just said it ’cause I spilled my water. It was a magic word? Really?”
“That’s what it looked like to me. Now let’s clean up and start this party all over again, just us two. Okay?”
MY PROMPT TODAY: Cotton swabs