Okay, so I definitely wasn’t planning to post today. Except I did a LOT of stuff this past weekend and I have another short story.
I went to my second soccer game of the weekend, and about five minutes in the lightning started. This resulted in a thirty-minute delay, and we got back on the field just as it started pouring rain. We finished the game, I changed into a spare shirt and ACTUALLY had to wring out my jersey (I thought that was a figure of speech), went home, had a quick shower, found a dress, and went to my family friend’s wedding.
I danced with an amazing woman named Jean, who is the older sister of my godmother’s good friend (follow that if you can, Internet). I also gawked over the Irish people there, who were apparently family friends or family of the groom. I’m a little shaky on the details. And a woman offered me an alcoholic drink, which makes me question how old I appear. I couldn’t decide whether or not I should be insulted or flattered.
The next day I had my third and last game of the weekend, went to the Renaissance Festival (which was FABULOUS), decided I wanted to be a male pirate for Halloween, met a Whovian pirate hat merchant, and had dinner with my friend, Young Beth.
Monday, which I reserved for homework, I woke up around noon, made myself a cup of tea, nearly froze to death, and started homework. It wasn’t until my friend Mo (not her real name) texted me saying “I just realized I’m wearing fluffy pants, a thick sweatshirt, two pairs of socks, two thick blankets, and I’m still cold. Think I’m sick?” that I noticed I was dressed similarly. At some point the slight fever and delirium hit, and the rest of the day was quite interesting. Side-note: everything is much funnier when slap-happy.
I’m still sick today, but I managed to sludge through, though sickness has an effect on me similar to that of caffeine and sugar on a three-year-old. That is to say, I CAN’T FOCUS ON ANYTHING.
Due to my fever, my cat has willingly curled up on my lap (a HIGHLY uncommon circumstance) and since I’m stuck in one place I’ve had some time to direct my focuslessness on something useful (relatively speaking).
Anyways, I’ll update you with any disaster and hilarity that occurs, whether due to my current state of insanity or some other reason. And here’s my snippet (may be slightly affected by an addiction to Texts From Last Night and a soft spot for Scottish accents):
Bast woke up with a groan. She had the mother of all headaches, and the sunlight streaming into the window of the second-floor bedroom of the house she was renting with three other girls was not helping any. She groped around her bedside table for her cell phone, sitting up. In doing so she dislodged a small Russian tortoise, which had been perched on her stomach.
“Atticus,” she said, picking up the tortoise and stumbling out of bed to carry it to its habitat, “what are you doing out of your man-cave?”
The tortoise didn’t answer, looking up at her reproachfully. She noticed that his water bowl was upended and there was no lettuce. “I’ll be right back,” she promised, finding her way down the stairs and into the kitchen. A few moments’ digging and she had found lettuce, filled his water bowl, and had two Advil. She leaned against the refrigerator, bracing herself for the trip back upstairs.
She didn’t remember quite how she got back to her room, but by the time she had taken care of Atticus and found her phone, which was dead, all she wanted was a shower and a taco. She plugged her phone in and grabbed a clean towel, ignoring the bra hanging off the doorknob of the bathroom that didn’t belong to her or any of her roommates, as far as she knew.
By the time she was done in the bathroom, she felt much more human. The door to Lacey’s room had a note taped to it.
“Don’t freak out if you can’t find me tomorrow morning. I went to Drew’s. Love ya, don’t hate me too much when you see the front yard.”
Bast frowned and reread the note. Drew was Lacey’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, she remembered after a moment. She didn’t want to know what the yard looked like.
Her phone was three fourths of the way charged, which was enough. She’d gotten three texts, one from Valerie, saying she was going to Jo’s. Jo was a friend and notorious partier. Although judging by the state of things, maybe Bast was, too. She pinched the bridge of her nose and checked the next text.
This one was from Roxy. “Dunno where I am, but there’s a guy on each arm and I’m pretty drunk. If I get thrown in jail, I have a stash of bail money under my bed.” Bast shook her head. Typical Roxy.
The third text was from Josh. “i lov u bby. pls com back.” He must have been drunk. He never texted her when he wasn’t. Only called when he was high. One of many reasons she’d broken up with him. She deleted it.
Then she shuffled downstairs and onto her porch, dreading seeing the front yard.
It was raining lightly. That was lovely; it was washing away the vomit in the curb and driveway. A guy she didn’t recognize was curled up in one of the wicker chairs on her porch. He was wearing one high heel, boxers, and a dress shirt, the collar of which was covered in lipstick stains.
She shook him awake. “Honey, wake up. You need to find your pants and go home.”
“Gloria?” he said hopefully, cracking his eyes open.
“No, I’m Bast. Do you know where you are?”
“I’m at Paco’s, duh.” he snuggled deeper into the chair. Paco’s was a local bar.
“No, you’re not. You’re at someone’s house,” she said gently, “You need to get up.”
“Oh. Oh my. Okay. I’ll just, ah…” he stood up and wandered away, kicking off the high heel.
She walked down the porch, ignoring the empty bottles of various alcoholic drinks on her porch, some broken, some half-full, most empty. She nearly tripped on a foot sticking out from the bushes next to her porch. She knelt, tapping the foot. “Whoever you are, you need to wake up.”
The man sat bolt upright. He was stark naked and she looked away quickly. “Whazza matter?” he slurred, clearly a mixture of drunk and hung over. “Where did my clothes go?” he looked at himself in confusion, then up at her. “Who are you?”
“I’m going to grab you some clothes, I’ll be right back,” she said, “why don’t you just lie back down.”
“Okay,” he mumbled, doing as she said. When she came back a few moments later with sweatpants and the biggest shirt she owned, he was gone. She sighed and sat down on the bottom step. Slowly she noticed the front yard.
There was a bicycle with no wheels, a duck cradled in a deflated basketball, a crutch, several shoes, a part of a rotary phone, a gorilla mask, and something that appeared to be, on closer inspection, a broken disco ball.
She rubbed her eyes, wondering how she was going to explain this to the neighbors. A glance around told her that most if not all of them had probably been at this party. She heard signs of life from the back yard but decided not to investigate. She didn’t want to know what was going on back there, particularly since of the few things she remembered, something about sex underwater had DEFINITELY been involved. And she didn’t want to see the pool.
Then the naked guy sprinted up to her, snatched the clothes out of her hands, and sprinted away. She stared after him for a few moments, then stood up, went back inside, closed the door, and sat down in the dining room.
“Hey, Lace. Wanna explain the broken disco ball in our front yard? And I may need help finding Roxy later.”
She made coffee while she waited for a reply, then chugged a glass of water and had a small bowl of cereal. A few minutes later she was in the bathroom, regretting the cereal and wondering how much she had to drink the night before. This was possibly the most wild night the small town of Madison, Missouri had seen. She just wished she could remember more of it.
She heard a shout and a splash from the back yard and braced herself mentally as she dashed out.
It was even more terrible than she had expected, but she ignored that in favor of the man floundering to keep his head above water in the pool. A few moments later she was pulling him out, despite his attempts to stay alive, which were making it quite difficult.
She got him onto the concrete and onto his back, where he stared at the sky, panting hard. He was six foot one at least, and a good forty pounds heavier than her, but she got him to his feet and into the kitchen with minimal damage to either of them.
He looked like he was still a bit drunk, given that he was stumbling even with her support and was demanding to know where his bicycle was in a slurred Scottish accent. She doubted he was actually Scottish, just drunk.
She got him to sit down, but then he was struggling to his feet, and she was certain he would take off running if he got up. On the other hand, she really needed to find a towels for them, call Lacey, Roxy, and Valerie, and probably get him something to sober him up a bit. And she needed to call the petting zoo or animal control to see if they were missing a goat, because she was fairly certain she hadn’t owned one last night, but there was one tethered to the the fence around the backyard now.
The guy tried to stand, but she was in his way. “I need to get my bicycle!” he insisted, and she sighed, looking to the ceiling for inspiration. Surprisingly enough, she found it, in the form of a jump rope looped around the light fixture.
She snatched it down and tied him to the chair, promising, “I’ll be right back.” she grabbed two towels out of the laundry room and tossed one to him, toweling herself dry as well as she could as she passed him on her way to the kitchen.
He shouted at her, kicking his long legs and missing her completely. She ducked into the kitchen and filled a large glass with cold water, dialing Lacey’s number. It rang twice. “Hey, can’t talk, goodbye.” there was a click as Lacey hung up.
She frowned, walked back into the dining room, and narrowly avoided being kicked by the drunk guy. She stepped around him and looked around the room. “Well, it’s not like the water is going to do more damage than the beer,” she muttered, then dumped the entire glass of water onto his head.
He spluttered, shaking water out of his hair like a dog. “What was that for?” he demanded.
She shrugged. “You’re drunk. The flailing was getting annoying. I’m Bast. What’s your name?”
“Aidan,” he muttered, still not dropping the accent.
“Well, Aidan, I’m going to find out the number for the petting zoo, then I’m going to find some good hangover food, then I’m going to find my missing roommates. Want to tag along?”
“Will you feed me?”
“Will you stop trying to run away?”
A few minutes later they were on their way to taco bell in Bast’s SUV.
“No, we have all of our goats.”
“Okay. Er, do you know of any farms anywhere nearby that might have goats?”
“Uh, no. I guess he’s yours now, miss. Best of luck.” the man hung up.
She sighed, muttering curses under her breath. “I take it it’s bad news?”
“I’m now a proud owner of a goat. What’s with the accent?”
“I don’t have an accent, you have an accent.”
“You have a Scottish accent,” she insisted.
“You have a Midwestern accent,” he countered. “I’m FROM Scotland. If today’s Sunday, I got in last night. Still not entirely certain how I ended up here.”
“Why would you come to Madison, Missouri of all places?”
“Is that where I am? I think I was supposed to be in Kansas City. You should name him Jeffrey.”
“The goat. He looked like a Jeffrey.”
“Do you know how he got there?”
“I don’t even know what day it is, love.”
“They eat grass, right?”
“I dunno. Do I look like a goat farmer?”
Bast sighed. “Okay. I’m going to go home, we’re going to eat our tacos, do some research on goats, and find my friends.”
She found out goats will eat just about anything and talked to Lacey and Valerie. Valerie was hung over but had Jo to take care of her, and Lacey was going to be at Drew’s house for the next few days. She called Roxy six or seven times, but she didn’t pick up.
“No luck?” Aidan asked, looking up from his triple steak burrito.
Then her phone rang. It was a number she didn’t recognize in a different area code.
“Bast? Is that you?”
“Roxy? Are you all right?” she sounded close to tears.
“No. I need you to come pick me up.”
“Okay. Where are you?”
“Albuquerque. Come get me.”
“Hang on, ALBUQUERQUE?” Bast demanded. “Are you hurt? Are you safe?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m crashing at a guy’s house. But I lost my license, so I need you to come get me.”
“Okay, I’ll be there. Give me a few days or something.”
“I love you.”
Bast pinched the bridge of her nose. Roxy had the money under her bed, and she’d been storing money in a copy of someone’s autobiography, a gift from a misguided aunt from several years ago. It was large, though, and had a sizable hole cut into it, which made it perfect for storing money.
“So, Aidan,” she said, grinning wryly at him, “are you up for a road trip?”
And that’s how she ended up on her way to Albuquerque with a Scotsman in the passenger seat, an unhappy tortoise in a box on his lap, and a goat eating grass out of a bucket in the back seat, with almost a thousand dollars stuffed into “My Life,” by Bill Clinton.