Category: Under 10K Words

This story was inspired by a tweet from Elysia Whisler, who confessed to going out to the pool during a rainstorm so she could rescue all the poor little frogs. She told me she’d kiss a prince if she thought he might turn into a frog. This story is just for fun, and has no relation to anything else I’ve written at all.

“Men are such toads.” Elysia laughed much louder and hysterically than was appropriate for such a small joke.  Not even a joke, really; more of an off-hand comment, an observation of human nature, and directed towards no one, as she was alone.

Elysia loved the Spring in D.C. The cherry blossoms were in bloom, and the breeze tickled her braless nipples under her crocheted halter top. The sixties were a wonderful time to be a woman.

Strolling around the National Mall where, just one week ago, she had burned her bra and subsequently been arrested for indecent exposure, Elysia sought out her pets. She sat on the edge of the reflecting pool and they came to her, wanting what she refused to give.

A few tourists passed by, giving no more than a quizzical glance to the crazy woman sitting on the edge of the pool. A half dozen frogs sat at varying distances from her, obviously watching her, waiting to see if Elysia would take pity on them.

A low, appreciative whistle caused her to glance over her shoulder. A suit was watching her. A young one, naïve and cocky and arrogant as hell. He didn’t see a woman. He saw a piece of hippie tush.

Elysia smiled, rotating one leg at a time to face him, sitting rather unladylike with her knees wide apart. The suit had to wipe an actual bit of drool from his thin lips. His eyes briefly touched her long blonde tresses before raking her breasts and settling on her crotch, as if he could penetrate her with his eyes.

He was too easy. All it took was a flirtatious glance, a little imbecilic flattery, and he was leaning over her. She grabbed him by the tie and gave him what he wanted, pressing her luscious lips to his hungry mouth.


One rather surprised frog joined his new comrades in the reflecting pool, not yet knowing just what had happened to him or why.

Elysia giggled and waved at her adoring amphibian audience before continuing on to the Capitol Building. It was cool inside; more so than usual and she crossed her arms over her chest to guard against the chill.

A warm jacket dropped onto her shoulders, and she looked up to see the greenest eyes and widest mouth a human dared have. Her feminist defenses bristled because she knew Julian was motivated more by covering up her revealing clothing than in giving her warmth. But he was sweet boy, and so she refrained from chastising him. Besides, she was cold, and his coat felt good.

It smelled wonderful too. She loved his soap. It left just enough of his own scent on his clothing to be real, while still smelling like he’d just come out of the shower, dripping wet and…

Elysia shook her head to clear the image. She had no business subverting innocent young boys like Julian. Washington needed more like him. She just hoped he could change it before it changed him.

“Elysia, what are you doing here?” Julian asked. His tone was light and conversational, but his eyes belied the fear and worry behind the innocent question. He was afraid for the general order of things, as well as for Elysia’s own rights and freedoms. He knew her well. He knew she loved to poke and stir and cause trouble any way she could.

And yet he had been the one to bail her out of jail.

“I’m just enjoying the cherry blossoms.” She said, as if he should believe that was all she had up her nonexistent sleeve.

“Ah, yes. You have a great view of the cherry blossoms on the way to the Senator’s office.”

“Humph.” She enjoyed seeing him like this. He would save the world someday, either with her or from her.

Julian sighed and guided her out a side door into the warm sunshine, knowing with each step that the only reason she let him shoo her away was because she liked him. Or felt sorry for him… he often couldn’t tell the difference.

“Lunch?” she asked, handing him back his suit jacket.

He hesitated, glancing back at the building where he should be very busy.

“I’m buying…” she jiggled just enough to make him blush. His well-trained gaze actually broke away from her eyes for a moment before snapping back. He was wondering where she could possibly keep a single coin, much less any greater amount of money. She dug into the lipstick pocket of her cutoff jeans and pulled out a five dollar bill. “The sky’s the limit! Up to five dollars.”

His wide mouth grinned, reminding her so much of the frogs she loved, and she wondered if, someday, she might kiss him.

But that would be wrong for oh so many reasons.

They enjoyed a couple of hot dogs in the shade of the cherry blossoms. Elysia made sure she was just suggestive enough with the wiener to make Julian feel uncomfortable. She was quite sure she sent him back to work with a hard-on, and that thought made her happy.

Six more frogs found their way to the reflecting pool that night. At dawn, several lawyers, a construction worker, a couple of lobbyists and one overly aggressive lesbian staggered away from the reflecting pool.

Elysia selected an outfit that was conservative enough get her through the door to hear the Senator’s speech, as well as long enough to conceal a rolled up banner. Halfway through the speech, she decided not to take it out after all. Julian must be having some kind of influence on his boss, because the old man actually seemed to be making sense for once. And was that real sincerity she perceived in his tone? Amazing!

“He really is a good guy…” Julian explained as they walked around the tidal basin towards the Jefferson Memorial.

“I never said he was a bad guy!” Elysia defended herself. She dangled her sandals from one hand. She’d tried to get him to take off his shoes, to no avail. His laces remained as straight as ever.

“And yet you seem to keep showing up…”

“…because of the bill…”

“The bill which died an ugly death three weeks ago.”

Elysia bit her lip. He had a point, and she knew why she kept coming around. She liked seeing him squirm. She loved the reaction she got when Julian thought she was about to do something… progressive. Heinous. Hippy-like.

A croak sounded behind them, and they turned to see a rather hefty toad hopping slowly down the path, following them. Elysia’s eyes grew wide as she recognized the large stranger who had accidentally copped a feel that afternoon. He seemed more persistent than most, but they soon outdistanced him.

She changed the subject. She was not about to admit to the boy that she was only hanging around because she enjoyed teasing him so much. He was irresistible. He was infinitely tweakable, and so very adorable when she tweaked.

But then she found herself looking directly into his puppy-dog eyes. She was standing just one step up from him, and the look of adoration and hesitant hope melted her heart. It was the perfect moment for a first kiss…

And then a frog croaked.

Elysia found too late that she had begun to lean in, wanting to kiss those luscious lips. But the croak reminded her of what would happen if she gave in, and she pulled away.

She danced up the last few steps and spun away from him.  “Have you ever been to Monticello?” Looking at the large statue of President Thomas Jefferson, that was the first thing that came to mind.

Julian took a step backward and barely caught himself before he tripped right down the steps. “Yeah… yeah. A couple of times. I love architecture.”

All the men she’d kissed, all those she’d enchanted, and she had never once felt guilty. Yet here before her was a man, hardly more than a boy, and she regretted more than anything not being able to kiss him.

For the first time in her life, she experienced self-doubt.

Elysia avoided the Capitol Building for the next few days. She had work to do. Lessons must be taught. Chauvinists must be educated.

But she missed her tweakable, frog-mouthed boy.

The Senator was going to speak at some kind of event for boy scouts or veterans or some other group, and it happened to be in her home town. She made the two hour drive on the back of a rather muscular and well tattooed man’s motorcycle, taking advantage of his disorientation as he regained his human form. He hadn’t really deserved to be turned into a frog in the first place, and she regretted using him. She had been feeling lonely, thinking of Julian, and in a fit of self-pity she had kissed the man, willing him to stay human just long enough to feel what it was like to have strong, masculine arms around her, but it was no use. The tattooed frog ribbitted a question to her, but her apologies felt woefully inadequate. She kissed the adorable little frog, and he instantly morphed back into a man again. After finding himself in Pennsylvania with a beautiful yet strange young flower child on the back of his bike, she kissed him a third time, and he landed in the pond in her parents’ back yard before he could croak.

The back porch light came on and her father stepped out. “Elysia?” he asked, then saw the motorcycle. “Good god girl, not again.” He helped her roll the bike under the carport where it would be safe, but the rider could find it in the morning.

She thanked him, and blew him a kiss which earned her a lopsided grin. “When are you gonna give all this foolishness up?” He asked, leading the way into the house. “Guess who’s here!” he hollered, and her mother appeared from the kitchen. She wore a faded apron and was busy drying a dish.

Elysia regarded her mother, trying to see her as a woman who had given up all that she was for a dreary life with a man who changed the oil in people’s cars for a living. But all she could see was a dreamy smile and sparkling contentment as her father winked at his wife, then went back to tinkering with his ham radio. Her parents were happy.

“Oh, Ely, when are you gonna give all this foolishness up?” her mother echoed her father’s words.

“When I find a man as wonderful as you did!” she countered, as she always did. And as always, her mother humphed indulgently and retreated back into the kitchen.

Elysia dug through her childhood closet, glad that she had never really bothered to clean everything out. She needed something… innocent. Well, innocent was a stretch for her wardrobe. She might be able to manage harmless. Or at least non-threatening.

Her mother appeared in the doorway. The knowing smile on her lips hinted at the words she would not say. ‘Who is he?’ She simply sighed and watched her daughter, then questioned her about what she was looking for and how she could help. They ended up finding a nice, normal, rather conservative dress in her mother’s closet, one that was quite appropriate for an afternoon picnic.

The motorcycle was gone in the morning. Elysia didn’t usually worry about whether her victims survived the night without being eaten by some wild critter, but she was starting to realize how wrong that was. She was relieved to see that her tattooed free ride had not come to harm.

The event turned out to be a massive flea market and carnival being held to raise funds for the Red Cross. Elysia managed to blend in with the crowd during the Senator’s speech. She found Julian while he was indisposed, a needle in his arm and a pump transferring his life-giving blood into a little plastic bag. That was just like him, always doing something for someone else, even someone he didn’t know.

“Elysia!” he said drunkenly as she sauntered up to him. “That dress is choice. You look…” his eyes lolled, and Elysia glanced over at a nurse. “You’re so beautiful.” Elysia wondered if perhaps he had lost a bit too much blood.

The nurse hurried over. “Oh my, it looks like you’re more than done.”

Julian gazed groggily at Elysia while the nurse disconnected him and placed a small bandage on his arm. He swayed to his feet and Elysia dipped under his arm to help him over to the cookie table.

“Cookies!” he exclaimed happily. Elysia sat with him, watching him pack away a dozen cookies and eight tiny cups of juice. The other squares at the table seemed not to realize she was a flower child, and included her in their friendly chatter. After consuming a few calories, Julian came back to his senses just in time to jump to his feet and steer her away when the conversation inevitably turned political.

They strolled towards the carnival. “I listened to the Senator’s speech. He really is good… isn’t he?” she admitted.

“He’s the best. He really is. He knows there’s a lot of dancing a man has to do in Washington to get stuff done, and sometimes it seems like he’s just flapping his gums. But he’s the real deal. He’s going to make it better. It takes time, but he has the passion and the intelligence to make it happen.”

Elysia watched Julian’s face as he declared his devotion to the old man, and his own passion for making the world a better place. Then he looked at her, and she thought she saw a different kind of passion there. She had never wanted that from any man, and yet from Julian, from this young, idealistic, hopeless square she found herself wanting more. She wanted to see him succeed in all the foolish, idealistic endeavors he devoted himself to.

They blended in with the other young couples, squares and flower children alike. Elysia even behaved herself when the Senator sought out Julian to thank him and say goodbye. She never imagined a career politician could be so considerate, but she supposed the good and the bad might all look alike when they dressed up and stood on stage. Julian seemed to know how to tell who really did have the drive and the inspiration to follow through on their promises.

Julian released a deep breath as soon as the Senator was out of sight. “Thank you.”

“Thank me? For what?” Elysia asked.

Julian blushed deeply, which wasn’t difficult with his fair coloring. “For not… well, for being so…”

Elysia laughed. “You mean for not accosting him? Or embarrassing you?”

Julian looked uncomfortable.

Elysia withdrew her laughter. “I do that to you a lot, don’t I?” Julian risked a quick glance out of the corner of his eye, not wanting to look at her directly. Elysia took his arm affectionately. “I’m sorry. I do tease you. You are just too much fun not to tease! I can’t help myself around you.”

Julian smiled and put an arm around her. It felt good, to be that close to someone she cared about. She’d felt men’s hands and mouths all over her body before enchanting them with a kiss. Never had she simply walked and enjoyed the feel and smell of a man who wanted nothing from her but to know he could make her happy.

She beat him in a contest of knocking milk bottles off a table by throwing a baseball, a loss he took with great grace. She let him buy her dinner, and they followed the crowds back to the main stage. Everyone else seemed to be producing blankets to sit on, but Elysia and Julian made themselves comfortable over to one side, sitting against a large oak tree.

Elysia didn’t even remember who the band was. She leaned against Julian, but even though she could clearly feel his erection against her back, his hands never strayed from her arms or waist. As the sun went down and the air cooled, she drew his arms around her more tightly. He lowered his mouth to her neck, and simply rested there breathing in the smell of her till she squirmed up against him, encouraging a firmer nuzzle.

The nuzzle turned into gentle kisses along her neck and shoulders. She sighed, basking in the unfamiliar feeling, then stretching back so his lips could reach her throat. His tongue gently traced her collarbone and she wished fervently that the crowd would magically disappear. All the touches she had received from any other man had seemed clammy and greedy, but Julian’s touch was reverent. She moaned softly and he kissed his way up her throat to her chin. But instead of tracing her jaw, his lips claimed hers.

Elysia fell backwards as the strong masculine body was instantly transformed into a squishy amphibian. She rolled frantically, hoping she wasn’t crushing him. “Oh shit oh shit oh shit!” she chanted to herself, hoping no one else had noticed. The concert had ended, and the crowd was beginning to disperse.

She caught some movement at the edge of a patch of weeds, and saw Julian the frog hopping off in search of water. She lunged for him, and winced as she saw the poor creature’s eyes bug out as he was captured.

“Elysia! It’s so good to see you here!” called a familiar voice. She turned, cradling the frog like a baby. Janie was almost all grown up, and she rushed in to give Elysia a warm hug. “You and your frogs!” she laughed. “I suppose you’re taking that one home?”

“Uh… yeah! You know me. I love frogs!” Elysia dissembled. Janie was a sweet kid. Elysia had babysat her through her teenage years, and she knew the family well.

“Can we give you a ride home?” Janie’s mother asked, shushing Janie’s little brother and sister.

Elysia looked around at the crowds. There was no way she could transform Julian back into a man with so many people around, and walking home she’d be in the flow of the crowd all the way. She tried not to show her nervousness as she accepted, and she kept Julian close to her chest the whole way home even though both youngsters begged to be allowed to hold him.

Her mother jumped up to follow her as she slammed in the front door and ran to the bathroom, clutching the frog carefully. She placed him in the bathtub and started to run cool water, bathing the amphibian in live-saving wetness. Her mother closed the door securely behind them, trapping them all in. “This one’s special, isn’t he?”

Elysia didn’t even realize she was crying. Her mother dried her wet cheeks with the same apron she’d been drying dishes with. She held her daughter’s face in her hands and placed a single kiss on her forehead. “I release you.” She pronounced.

Elysia hugged her mother, burying herself in the sagging bosom she loved so much. She felt a weight slide from her, a weight she had not even known she carried.

“Ribbit!” said Julian from the bathtub.

Elysia gently picked him up, and placed a single kiss directly on his cold slimy lips.

Nothing happened.

She did it again, then turned to her mother in a panic. “It’s not working! Why is it not working?”

“I’ve released you.” Said her mother calmly. “No more magic. At least, not the kind that turns men into frogs and frogs into men.”

Elysia blinked. “But… Julian…”

“Will be fine in the morning. A little disoriented, to be sure, but in my experience that’s the best time to talk to a man anyway.”

“How will I explain…”

“Oh, darlin’, no need to explain anything about frog kissin’! No, that’s over. Although if you have daughters, you will have to have that talk with him and them before they hit puberty. No, it’s best just to tell the man you love him, and let the rest take its course.

They spent the whole night talking, watching Julian splash around in the tub. Elysia shocked her poor mother with her wide knowledge of all things sexual, as her mother had planned to spend the evening enlightening her daughter on the facts of life.

In the hour before dawn, her mother kissed her goodnight and left her alone in the bathroom with her enchanted true love. Elysia thought carefully about what her mother had said about the disorienting time following the transformation being the best time to talk to a man, but she had a better idea.

Looking out the eastern window to gauge the exact time, she carried him back to her room. The narrow bed would have to do. She placed him on the center of the mattress, then covered him with a heavy quilt so he couldn’t move. She stripped off her own clothes, throwing them in a corner just as the bulge under the quilt suddenly grew to man-size.

“It’s all right, Julian, it’s just me. You had too much to drink, but I’ll take care of you.”

“Drink?” he asked, and she realized how strange that excuse was for him. So square he never touched a drop of alcohol.

So square he’d never lay a hand on her, even if she was naked and begging, which she almost was.

She divested him of his clothing, which had reappeared with him when he regained his human form. Confused, he watched her with a little smile on his face, definitely not yet coherent. But when she stretched out on top of him and kissed him fully, he responded enthusiastically. Suddenly his hands were everywhere, and she felt fire burn her skin everywhere he touched. His erection sprang up between them, the tip wet and eager. Impatient herself, after so long waiting, she straddled his hips and took him deep into herself with one movement. He bucked beneath her, bending his knees and bracing himself to penetrate her as fully as possible, calling her name over and over.

She called to him as well, not caring that her parents could hear everything. He was hers, and she was his. She nibbled at his lips and indulged in long kisses that left them both gasping. She felt herself float to the ceiling while her body inexplicably remained impaled on his thrusting erection, and she let out a scream that seemed to shake him back to his senses. He groaned and released into her, shaking with the intensity of pent up desire that was finally released.

“Elysia… you turned me into a frog!” he panted. But she didn’t care. She collapsed against his chest, drifting off into a satisfied sleep. Julian stared at the ceiling, his hands gently stroking her body, as if not able to believe what was happening to them. “It’s all right though…” he said, hearing her snore softly. “I got better.”

Sometime later she awoke as he rolled with her, shifting on the narrow bed till she was under him. He made love to her a second time, holding her gaze and telling her he loved her, and had always loved her. She knew it was true with some kind of sense that came from deep in her soul, completely unrelated to any logical observations, but not contrary.

Her parents were gone, off somewhere to give them a little privacy. Elysia joined him in the small shower, then enjoyed a little pampering as he kissed every inch of her while toweling her off.

“Julian, I’ve decided how I’m going to change the world.” She declared.

“Really?” he asked between kisses.

“I’m going to be your wife. Whether you’re the Senator’s go-to boy for your whole career, or you become the President of these United States, I’m going to be beside you. I’ll wear a June Cleaver dress when I need to, and burn my bra when the occasion calls for it. But I’ll do it all as your wife.”

He stopped kissing her, smiling a mischievous smile as he reached for his pants. Digging through the pockets he produced a small velvet box. “Then you’d best put this on.” He said, slipping the ring on her finger. “I’ve been carrying it around for a week now. I just didn’t know how to get you to say yes.”

She said yes.

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This story, just under 6,000 words, is set on Kingdom Come, but it is not related to any of the novels.  It does include a scene that is inappropriate for kids. My thanks to James Cawley and Patty Wright for letting me use a picture of the Ticonderoga Elvis for this story.  Thanks also to my friend Tristan Newsome, who let me mash him up with Johnny Cash and kill him off in my story!

Lahla had enough of zombies, ninjas, and aliens to last a lifetime.  Two lifetimes, even.  Zombies, generally speaking, could not dance at all.  Ninjas were worse, because they thought they could, but were usually very wrong.  Aliens were usually overly concerned that their make-up or costumes would be damaged, and refused to even try to learn the choreography.  Her job was difficult, to say the least.

What Lahla was absolutely sick of was the Elvi.  Cassidy had been the best that Three Ring Circuit, Lahla’s parents’ production studio, had ever seen.  And for six months, Lahla had sighed and moaned and screamed (in a good way), and agreed… Cassidy really was the best… in many ways.

But the months of passion and puppy love had come to an abrupt end when Lahla delivered the news that Cassidy would not be starring in TRC’s next big production.  She was undoubtedly the best Elvis impersonator the studio had ever seen – especially considering the fact that she was a woman – but she simply wasn’t right for any of the upcoming major roles.  Cassidy had stormed off the set right in the middle of rehearsal, scattering ninjas in her wake and yelling some rather vile insults regarding Lahla’s sexual habits.  She certainly understood how to make a scene.

Fortunately, Lahla’s brother Tee had been on hand, working with the small orchestra, and he told her to go home and blow off some steam while he took over both the musical and dance aspects of the rehearsal.  “Tee” was short for Tchaikovsky, and his specialty was orchestral scores.  Like all their siblings, Tee and Lahla worked with their parents; Three Ring Circuit was very much a family business.

Lahla arrived home to find zombie ninjas picnicking on her lawn, but that wasn’t the worst of her problems.  She had forgotten that today was the day they were rearranging the neighborhood to look like the sleepy backwater town at the end of the movie, where they set up the teaser for the sequel.  She watched as the last of the pods were assembled by crane, and the scenery people swooped in to construct the façade.

It was very convenient to live on the lot, and it definitely saved money.  She liked most of her family, from her siblings to the various cousins who lived and worked at the studio.  Having her housing regularly rearranged was inconvenient, but it helped to keep life interesting.  Her own pods consisted of one average four meter by four meter cube for her bedroom, a second that she used as a sitting room and office, and a third cube the same size that was her bathroom, closet, and a hallway that made it simpler to connect to whatever it needed to connect to.  Sometimes her pods were simply an extension off the back of the façade, and might never appear in the film.  Other times, her pods ended up on a third or fourth floor, and she found herself climbing stairs several times a day.

She joined the actors on their blanket.  “Hey Lahla,” said one ninja, zombie slime oozing from an open gash on his arm.

“You’re done early.” mentioned a woman with one eyeball dangling from the socket.

Lahla accepted a bag of potato chips from a ninja who looked like he had yet to be zombified.  “Cassidy dumped me,” she announced.  “Rather dramatically, too.  Stormed right out of rehearsal.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, sweetie…” cooed the arm gash zombie.

“I’m not!”  exclaimed the eyeball zombie.  “Cassidy’s a real Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng.  You’re better off without her.”  Everyone on the blanket laughed.

Although there were still a number of prop people attaching siding and architectural bits to the outside of the house, an upstairs window opened and Lahla’s sister Soh leaned out.  “Hey!  Lahla!  I’ll bet you dish duty you can’t find your own room in less than two minutes!”

“You’re on!”  Lahla yelled, jumping up from the blanket amidst the laughter of her zombified friends.  The first door she tried turned out to be fake, but she quickly found another way inside.  “Where are the frakking stairs?” she cursed as she quickly moved through the rooms on the first floor.  She found them off the kitchen and took them two at a time, but it turned out that they only led to a couple of rooms, neither of which seemed to connect to the rest of the second floor.

She jumped down the stairs and raced around looking for another way up.  Finally, she passed through their game room pod and found another pod beyond that had a bathroom and more stairs.  At the top, she heard her sister’s voice teasing, “One more minute!”

She found her sister at the end of the hall.  “Congratulations!  You found my room.  Now where’s yours?”

Lahla grinned and took off like a shot.  She returned to the stairs, which continued up one more flight.  Her sister’s voice rang out behind her, counting down.  “Ten, nine, eight…”  Lahla recognized several doors with her siblings’ personalizations.  Tee’s had the theme music from Farstar, his favorite flick, etched across the center panel.  Their brother Fah’s door was constantly changing, but always featured some scene of hand-to-hand combat.

Soh followed her up the stairs.  “Three… two… ONE!”  She called out just as Lahla discovered that the hallway made an “L” at the end.  From there it connected to her bath and closet pod, then her bedroom pods at the end.

Soh wrapped her arms around Lahla’s waist from behind.  “I heard what Cassidy did, sweetie.  But you’re better off without her.  She’s a real Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng.  I just wish you’d been the one to dump her, not the other way around.  She was only using you, you know.”

Lahla leaned back against her sister, grateful for the support that was both physical and emotional.  “That seems to be the general opinion, as well as the applied insult of the day.”  She removed her sister’s arms and started poking around her room.  They had changed a wall out, so she had two window walls instead of just one.  She tried to remember what she’d had hanging on the missing wall, but Soh was already taking frames and things out of the box under her bed for her. 

“How did you hear about it so fast?”

Soh laughed.  “Hear about it?  Darling, I not only heard about it, I saw it six different ways.  Ray even edited it together, and Mimi added in sound effects.”  Lahla stared in open mouthed disbelief, then closed her mouth, realizing she should have expected as much from her family.  “Don’t worry.  They made you look like a hero, standing there taking it all with grace, while Cassidy looks like an idiot.  They’re currently working on adding a devil’s tail and horns…”  Soh’s link chimed a rather cutesy melody.  “Oh, look, they’re done!”

Lahla watched over her sister’s shoulder a very well-edited clip of Cassidy dumping her, loudly and profanely, in front of a large crowd of zombies, ninjas, and aliens.  There were reaction shots from the crowd, and Cassidy had excrement shooting out of her mouth as horns grew on her head.  She even sprouted a tail as she stormed off the set.  Altogether, it was less than three minutes long, and had occurred less than a half hour before.

Lahla had to admit, seeing her ex-girlfriend vilified in such a way did help to make her feel better.  Being in a creative and loving family had its benefits.

After dinner, three of their six mothers descended on the house, raving about how awful Cassidy was and how glad they were to finally be rid of her.  Lahla’s oldest sister, Doe, broke the news that Cassidy had formally turned in her resignation through her agent, and was currently bad mouthing Three Ring Circuit and their entire family via any and every outlet she could find.  The good news was, the Grimm family was universally loved by scores of fans and employees, and the counter-publicity was viral and effective.

By the end of the evening, all six mothers, four fathers, fifteen siblings and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins  and a bunch of unidentified children  descended on the pod house.  There was universal agreement that Cassidy was a frog humping son of a bitch, and Lahla was a bit disconcerted that her family was so quick to condemn the woman that, ’til a few hours ago, had been one of their star performers and Lahla’s girlfriend.

“Did anyone in this family approve of our relationship?” she asked the room at large.

A female cousin wrapped an arm around her.  “Oh, sweetheart, we haven’t seen a disaster like that since the last time you dated a drummer!”

“We were just too polite to say anything…” added a random voice from the family crowd.

“Since when has this family ever been guilty of being ‘too polite’ about anything?”  Lahla demanded, only half joking.

The laughter that answered her question was drowned out by her father’s voice singing out, “Do… Ray Mi Fa So La Ti…” instead of the final “Do” he ended with, “…and everyone else.”  It was the standard way of getting the entire family’s attention.  Lahla winced and smiled simultaneously whenever she heard it.  It was amusing that her musically inclined parents had named their children after the solfège syllables, and only marginally embarrassing. 

“As we all mourn the loss of our star Elvis impersonator…”  This comment was greeted with more laughter.  “Three Ring Circuit still has the problem of whom to cast in the Tristan Cash biopic.”  The laughter died away, the air in the room growing tense as the company pondered whether an announcement was about to be made, or if the boss was going to ask for suggestions.

“Fortunately, Cassidy may have solved that problem for us.”  Lahla’s head snapped towards her father, wondering how Cassidy’s dramatic departure could possibly help.  Glancing around the room, she saw that she was not the only one wondering.  “Those of you who knew her knew that Cassidy was fond of referring to herself as the ‘evil twin’.  Her ‘good’ twin Casey is not only an impersonator, but a much better actor than Cassidy.  I asked their agent long ago if Casey would be interested in working on something with Three Ring Circuit.”

“But Cassidy hates Casey…” Lahla interrupted.

“My point exactly!”  Her father explained.  “Their agent said that Casey would never have anything to do with us as long as Cassidy was part of the company.  But now…”

“I’m on it!” declared Lahla’s little brother Shoshta.  Being named after a composer whose name was a colloquial curse word had made Shoshta rather bold.  The room erupted into contemplative murmurs and Lahla made her way to Shoshta’s side.

“Shostokovich, what do you have up your sleeve?” she demanded, deliberately implying both name and curse.

Their cousin, the magician, took advantage of her straight line to reach into Shoshta’s sleeve, miraculously pulling out a small chick.  “Something fowl!” he proclaimed, earning groans and laughs from those who had gathered close.

“Casey commented on the video…” Shoshta announced, reading his link.

“What did she say?” someone in the back of the crowd asked.

“You didn’t need the special effects to see Cassidy’s true personality shine through.”  Shoshta announced.  “and then Cassidy herself added something that I won’t repeat in the presence of children.”  A chorus of disappointed youngsters answered him as he keyed in something else.  The company watched as his lips twitched, then he smiled.  “We have a meeting!  Tomorrow at nine!”  The crowd cheered.

Lahla was busy rehearsing the big Bollywood zombie dance number when she heard the news that Casey had agreed to film the scenes that Cassidy hadn’t finished yet, and she was in negotiations to play Tristan Cash in the studio’s next big feature.

Lahla had just about decided that zombies were never meant to do the Bardo Chham when she heard loud anachronistic engine sounds. Her dancers parted like the Dead Sea to let a rather large motorcycle through. Her heart skipped a beat, thinking for just a second that it was Cassidy, come back to make another scene, but then she realized it must be Casey. The choreographer stood her ground as the newcomer parked, casually dismounted, and approached her. She refused to react. Casey was every bit as gorgeous as Cassidy. Even more so, as she exuded an intensely masculine Elvis swagger that Cassidy, as talented as she was, had never been able to produce. Casey even had realistic sideburns, a dedication to the act that Lahla admired.

Lahla considered yelling at the intruder, but she knew that her parents had been hoping to lure Casey to their studio for a long time, and she didn’t want to endanger the new relationship. She waved, “Take five,” to her zombies, most of whom promptly sat down or reclined to watch the drama unfold between the two of them.  So much for privacy.

Casey approached Lahla languidly, appraising her from head to toe. The choreographer met the Elvis impersonator’s gaze assertively, only raising one eyebrow to question the interruption of her rehearsal. Casey didn’t say a word, but the actor’s body language made it clear that Lahla’s sari-clad body was quite pleasing.

Lahla suppressed a shiver. She did not want to react to Casey, but something about the presumptuous manner in which the impersonator had approached her was more arousing than annoying. The zombies needed a break anyway; nothing had been lost.

“Wanna make my sister jealous?” Casey uttered in a perfect Presley accent.

“What?”  Lahla asked.  That was not what she had expected her ex-girlfriend’s twin to say.

Casey smiled, and casually walked back to the absurdly large motorcycle.  “You.  Me.  Dinner.  Eight.”

Lahla let a little grin sneak onto her face. Revenge?

Revenge was a dish best served cold, and she was feeling rather hot. Perhaps a dinner date could solve that problem.  Or feed it…

“Dinner.”  Lahla answered, as if promising nothing more. But the knowing look in Casey’s eye before she drove off promised that their date would not end with a simple meal.

Lahla had her sisters’ help whether she wanted it or not. Knowing that the theme of the date was “let’s make that bitch forget she ever dumped me,” they chose the slinkiest, sexiest sari any of them owned.  “Isn’t this the one Jen wore in that scene from  “A Knight to Remember?” Mimi asked.

“Mmm Hmmm!” Soh purred. Soh knew costuming, and the steamiest sex scene from “A Knight to Remember” had begun with the female lead wearing that exact outfit, down to the costume jewelry.  But it was a contemporary flick, and Lahla looked gorgeous in it.

Elvis, AKA Casey, arrived at the pod house promptly at eight, riding in a rickshaw pulled by a very large and muscular young man. Lahla considered being fashionably late and making an entrance, but she was justifiably afraid of what her siblings might do if left alone with her date for very long. She started down the stairs as soon as she saw the rickshaw pull up.

Being a dancer, Lahla knew how to walk down a flight of stairs and show her legs to their best advantage. Casey was still sporting true Presley style, although it was toned down enough to be appropriate for a night on the town. The impersonator eyed her appreciatively as she descended to the foyer.  “You’re the devil in disguise.”

Lahla smiled at the cheesy compliment.  “Shall we go?” she asked, eager to leave before her family embarrassed her more than was absolutely necessary.

Casey held the door for her, then helped her into the rickshaw. She smiled at the driver, a nice young man she used to babysit.  “I hope she’s paying you well, George.” She quipped.

“Hon’s promised me a nice, healthy tip if I don’t end up behind or next to any horses when we reach city traffic.”  George grinned. Lahla wondered at the gender neutral pronoun “hon,” but since Casey was dressed as a man, it wasn’t too unusual.

Lahla turned to Casey as George pulled them away from the house.  “Do you prefer ‘hon’ or…”

Tristan Cash

“He’ is fine.” Casey answered. Lahla wondered if ‘he’ had his eyes on playing Tristan Cash. It wasn’t unheard of for a woman to play a male lead, if her build was appropriate and she had the talent.  Lahla had to admit, Casey made a damn fine looking male.

George pulled the rickshaw smoothly from the studio gate into Tinseltown traffic, pausing just a moment longer than necessary so that a horse-drawn carriage full of tourists would be well ahead of them. They found a niche between a trio of scooters and a tour bus instead. It was a short ride to Gabby’s, one of the trendiest new restaurants in town. The maître d’ recognized them and led them to a table right away. It was one advantage to belonging to one of the world’s best-known production studios; although she wasn’t one of the stars, those whose job is was to know who’s who in Tinseltown knew who she was. More than one patron at the restaurant snapped an image or vid of them as they walked to their table. Lahla wondered how much editing her siblings would do to the visuals once they were shared. She half expected to return home to a highlight reel titled, “The Best Moments from Tonight’s Date.”

“So, are you allergic to horses?” Lahla asked, after the waiter took their drink order.

“No…” Casey replied, “just don’t like them.  I don’t mind working with kids, but I’ve had a couple bad experiences with animals.”

“Really?”  Lahla asked, wondering.  It felt strange, sitting there with someone who looked so much like her ex-girlfriend. The only things Cassidy had ever said about her own twin were allusions to the idea that Casey was the ‘good’ twin, and Cassidy herself was the ‘evil’ one. Lahla had wondered what caused the rift, but the question seemed a bit too personal for a first date.

Casey related two rather humorous anecdotes about acting alongside farm animals, and Lahla laughed at all the right times. They were highly visible in the restaurant, and both of them were very conscious of the eyes that were on them from all directions. Cassidy would certainly hear about her ex-lover dating her twin before the night was over, and that was the goal of the date, after all.

Lahla subtly let their legs touch under the table, and Casey put a hand on her thigh. They played it up over dessert, sharing a dish and seeming to be completely wrapped up in each other.

George was waiting with the rickshaw when they left the restaurant. Lahla spotted a knot of plotters across the street, stalking the restaurant and taking pictures of everyone who was anyone coming out. Casey saw them too, and as soon as they were in the rickshaw he leaned in to kiss her, throwing in a not so  innocent grope of her breast in the process.

“Did they get that?”  Casey asked as George pulled them into traffic. Lahla laughed and readjusted her sari.

“I hope so!” she answered.

Casey raised an eyebrow. “You hope so?  Why?” he teased. “I know there was garlic on that steak, but was the kiss really that bad?”

Lahla tried to make out his features in the glaring and changing lights of the Tinseltown street.  She thought there was a hint of actual hurt in Casey’s voice, but she couldn’t be sure. After all, he was an actor…and wasn’t he taking her out just so he could piss off his twin sister?

As they passed a particularly illuminating light, Lahla saw that his face showed what seemed like genuine sincerity, and hope. Well, he might be a good actor, but she was willing to play out the evening, wherever it led.

The first place it led was to a popular club.  It felt good to let loose and just dance. Lahla spent all day at work with elaborate choreographies for extras who may have little or no dance experience.  But at night, it was her time. No steps to memorize or teach, just music and movement and the crush of bodies sweating it out on the dance floor.

She was impressed that Casey was more than willing and perfectly able to keep up with her. His hips swiveled and shimmied to song after song, ‘til it was well past midnight and they were both exhausted.

They joined some of her friends in a booth towards the back, and Casey excused himself for a moment.

“Lahla!  I thought you and Cassidy were…”

“That’s not Cassidy. That’s her twin!” explained one of the friends.

They all offered their opinions of Lahla’s ex, which were unsurprisingly similar to the opinions already expressed by everyone at Three Ring Circuit.  They were interrupted by the exodus of the live band, replaced by the strains of a very old song.

Lights came up on stage, and there was Casey, sideburns and rhinestones, posing in the spotlight. The first line of the song was drowned out by loud cheers from the still rowdy crowd, but when Lahla heard “All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me,” she knew exactly what song it was.  She got up and dove into the crowd, whirling with the other dancers on the floor to the familiar tune.

Casey’s on stage antics had the crowd whipped into a frenzy, and Lahla was no exception. It felt good to let herself go, publically proclaiming that being dumped was not going to slow down her social life in the least.

Two songs later, Casey went to chat with the band while the sound system took over the intermission with a complicated multimedia show. Lahla pushed her way through the crush on the dance floor to rejoin her friends.

Several voices spoke at once.  “He’s great!” and, “She was fantastic!”

Tristan Cash

“She prefers ’he’, at least for now,” Lahla clarified.  “Hopefully he’ll play Tristan Cash in the new flick.”

“The one your Mom wrote?”

Lahla nodded, knowing what was coming next. 

“Did your mom really almost marry him?”

Lahla related the story exactly as she did every time someone asked.  “…so, no, they didn’t almost get married.  I think she knew the kind of man he was, and was happy to enjoy the affair while it lasted, and then just walk away.”

“She walked away from the Tristan Cash?” more than one person asked incredulously.

Fortunately Casey chose that moment to return, and Lahla turned her attention to the reason she was there.

Lahla returned to the pod house in the wee hours of the morning to find her siblings munching popcorn and watching a highlight reel of her date.  Soh turned when she heard Lahla come in.  “And just where is his hand going?” she demanded as a very clear video of Casey’s hand travelling up the back of her thigh appeared on the big wall of the family room. Her eager siblings made various sounds of cheering or chastising the grope.

“Who the hell got close enough to get video that clear?” Lahla demanded.

“The real question is how did anyone get video that clear when everyone is so mashed together!” answered her brother. “There’s some interesting footage your gynecologist might find useful, but fortunately the algorithm I use to edit the endless supply of clips left it out.”

Lahla blushed furiously and shook her head at the room full of siblings.

“How the hell can you dance like that while your underwear is disappearing into Lahla land?” her sister joked, and the room erupted with laughter.  The laughter subsided to a group “Aww!”  as an adorably artistic collage of their goodnight kiss danced on the screen with fireworks in the background.  The kiss that had taken place only a few minutes before.  Thus was the life she lived; well loved, but no such thing as privacy.

She spent the weekend out of town with her sisters.  It was partly a working weekend, as they were scouting locations for the Tristan Cash Story, but it was fun and she forgot about being dumped.  Moonday arrived all too soon and she returned to the task of turning a hoard of zombified ninjas into something worthy of their tribute to old Bollywood.

On lunch, she temporarily escaped into the bowels of the main studio, seeking someplace she could simply be alone for a few minutes.  She turned a few corners then paused, wondering if she heard footsteps behind her.

“Lahla?” came an uncertain voice from the main hallway.

Her forehead crinkled, wondering whether to acknowledge she had heard the call, and lose her chance at some privacy, or to just hide.

“Over here,” she called.  She was often needed, and it just wasn’t in her to run away from someone who was lost, or couldn’t possibly do their job without asking her something vitally unimportant.

Casey appeared, and he seemed relieved to have found her.  He took two steps towards her, but then glanced at his link as it demanded his attention.  “Frak… of all the bad moments to…”  Casey muttered.

Lahla raised an eyebrow.  Casey ignored the multiple electronic pleas for his attention, and strode right up to her.  He looked down at her, his height being just the right amount greater than her own.  “I just wanted to make sure you understood that those passionate, groping kisses during our date… those were for all the cameras.  And for she-who-will-not-be-mentioned.”

Lahla nodded her understanding.  “I had a great time, Casey.  I appreciate you helping me give her the kick she deserved.”

Casey immediately corrected her.  “No, Lahla, I meant those kisses were for the cameras.  This one is just between us.” He leaned in, gently pulling her to him and closing his mouth over hers.  Surprised, she took a moment to respond.  But he wasn’t hurrying.  He was savoring her.  Lahla relaxed into him, enjoying his obvious expertise.

Both their links sounded off that their attention was urgently required elsewhere, and they broke the kiss.  Ignoring the demands for just a moment, they looked at each other, realizing that the kiss was something they had both enjoyed.  But the moment was over as they each glanced at their links and found that they were needed at opposite ends of the lot.

The flirting over the next week took place mostly in the furtive exchange of a meaningful glance or smile as they passed each other on the busy lot.  More intense flirting took place in the virtual realm, and by the time they snuck out for their second date Lahla was wanting more than the occasional tongue tussle.

They chose one of the medium sized towns up in the hills which happened to be hosting a concert of one of the smaller, local bands.  A medium sized town meant that it was big enough that they wouldn’t be noticed, but small enough that no one would expect to see a celebrity there, even ones as minor as they were. The amphitheater was a natural formation of the rocks, and seating was casual.

After the first intermission, Lahla took Casey by the hand and led hon up one of the many trails that led further up into the hills.  The second half of the concert drifted up to them from far below, the breeze surprisingly warm for the heights.  They found a secluded spot and Lahla set about finding out just how identical Cassidy and Casey were.  Although most of Casey’s jaw was baby smooth, the Elvis sideburns seemed to be real and not prosthetic.  Not many actors would go to such an extent to play a part.  Casey’s build was lean, just like a young Elvis in his prime.  Lahla ran her hands over Casey’s arms, admiring the almost masculine shape of them.  Cassidy’s had been much the same.

Casey wrapped his arms around Lahla and tasted her lips.  She loved it when he did that.  He didn’t crush her or slobber all over; Casey kissed with finesse.  Lahla’s breasts were pressed to his chest, but she couldn’t tell whether Casey had used a binding to force feminine breasts to pass for a masculine chest, or if, like Cassidy, Casey simply had very small breasts that required no binding.

Their tussle grew more intimate, and Lahla threw back her head as Casey moved aside the layers of her blouse to expose and suckle first one nipple, then the other.  Casey sat on a rock at about bar-stool height, more leaning than sitting.  Lahla pushed her date backwards, skimming over the heavily sequined shirt as she moved down towards her main interest.  Cassidy had hidden the fact that her hair was not as naturally dark as Elvis’, but that fact was only known to those who knew her body intimately, as Lahla did.  Lahla was fascinated at how similar the twins could be physically, while so different in temperament.

She tugged Casey’s pants open, unsurprised to find no underwear at all.  She blinked at the erect rod standing at attention before her eyes.  Cassidy had often stuffed her pants to appear more masculine, but although she’d been fond of strap on toys, she’d never used one that was so…


Lahla tugged tentatively, and heard a low, encouraging growl from Casey.

Instead of tugging, Lahla maneuvered the penis left and right, examining where the shaft met Casey’s groin.  Sure enough, there were testicles there as well.  She handled them tentatively, just to make sure, and Casey’s gasp as she pulled the sack cleared up all doubts.

Lahla fell backwards, laughing.

Casey looked confused, and for just a moment he joined her in laughing before he realized that his date was laughing at his manhood.  His pride shrank and he started to pull up his pants again.

“You’re a man!  A real one, I mean,”  Lahla said, wiping tears of mirth from her eyes.

Casey just looked stricken.  “Of course, I’m a man, what the frak did you expect?”

“Well, you’re twins, and you look so alike…”

“And she’s always been a girl, and I’ve always been a boy.  A man, I mean.  I mean I…”

Lahla doubled over with laughter again.

“Enough already, Lahla, my ego can only take so much…” Casey protested.

Lahla composed herself.  “I’m sorry, Casey, it’s just that… I always assumed that you were a woman.  It’s the ‘good twin/bad twin’ thing.  It never occurred to me that Cassidy’s twin was a man!”

Casey had pulled himself together and was heading off down the path and back towards the concert.  Lahla followed, having exthinguished her laughter when she saw the hurt in the actor’s face.  She knew enough actors to know when the hurt was real.  She remained silent for a few minutes, going over in her mind every clue she’d had both from Cassidy and from Casey himself.

No wonder he preferred the masculine pronoun ‘he’ over the gender neutral ‘hon.’

He was a man.

Casey headed to the snack bar, and seemed to have regained his composure.  “How about we just forget about what just happened up there,” he suggested in what she assumed was his best “mature” voice.  She agreed and changed the subject, sensitive to the fact that she’d hurt his feelings.  The concert gave them something else to distract them, but the ride home was awkward and uncomfortable as they both tried to think up something to talk about that was safe and banal.  They said good-bye at the studio gate.

Lahla passed the weekend at home, missing the virtual flirting she’d been enjoying with Casey over the past week.  He was definitely different than Cassidy.  She sent him a brief, sincere apology, but she didn’t want to harass him; if he wanted to avoid her, that was fine.  She’d just tell her nosey friends and family that it had been a brief fling just to show Cassidy that Lahla was just fine without her, and now it was over.

Lahla didn’t want it to be over.  There had been a lot of sexual tension building between them up to “the moment,” as she began to call it.  Her sister Soh dragged the whole sordid story out of her, but thankfully agreed to keep the details private.  It was bad enough that Cassidy had loudly announced embarrassing details about Lahla’s sexual proclivities when they broke up; Lahla didn’t want to endure the teasing if everyone found out she had thought Casey was a woman.  She certainly didn’t want Casey to have to endure the teasing either.  He was sweet, and considerate.

He was a real gentleman.

Sunday afternoon, Soh told her there was someone outside waiting for her.  Fortunately, only the two of them were at home, as most of their housemates were out and about for the day.  Lahla smiled when she saw Casey, dressed in a form-fitting and slightly transparent shirt that left no doubt that his chest was masculine and muscled.  The only trace of Elvis in his persona were the sideburns, which no longer seemed so extraordinary.

When he spoke, Lahla realized she was hearing him for the first time.  Casey, the man, not the actor or the impersonator.  “Lahla, while you and Cassidy were together, I didn’t think much of you.  I thought, ’How could anyone who likes Cassidy actually be a real, genuine person?’  When you two broke up and I came here to the studio, I thought it would be fun to give that Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng a nice dose of the grief she gives everyone else.”

Lahla noticed that he had brought several back-up singers with him, and they were moving into place behind him.  “You are an amazing woman.  And I want to get to know you.”

And then Elvis was back.  The change was subtle, but clear.  The lip, the stance… he was The King.  The backup singers started an a cappella beat  and he started singing, “I don’t want my heart to be broken, ‘cause it’s the only one I’ve got…”

Lahla swayed with the serenade.

It was a cheesy start to a relationship, but cheese was what Three Ring Circuit did best.

Shortlink for this post:

This story was written for the Red Dress Club‘s prompt “Write about someone you can’t stand.”  One of the requirements was to do it from the first person, another requirement was to come in under 600 words.  It is set on Kingdom Come, but is independent from all the other stories.  Actually, these characters are the ones I started writing about long ago in the beginning.  It’s been nice to revisit them.

Bonus points if you can figure out whose arms those are!  To fit the story, they should be in formal wear, but the pose really portrayed the right attitude for the story.

Charity’s Ball

by AmyBeth Inverness

Charity smiled graciously and continued shaking hands with  Senators.  I watched my  wife, knowing her tells.  She could fool the politicians, all three of our husbands, and two of our three wives.

She could not fool me.

All was not right in the world.

Royal was also watching Charity out of the corner of her eye.  As a White Duchess, Royal had extensive psychological training.  She was the one wife Charity couldn’t fool.  I made my way over to her.  She was part of a group that was carrying on a conversation with little need of her input.  It was just like Royal, to be the observer.  “The bastard is here.  That’s what’s wrong.” she said sweetly as I approached, gleaning my question before I even reached her.  I joined the group, half listening to the political discussion and scanning the crowd.  Royal handed me her empty glass.  “Grey, darling, would you please bring me another?”

“Of course…” I answered, taking the glass and heading for the bar.  I spotted the bastard sitting there, talking to a large pair of breasts and pretending to listen to the woman attached to them.  I signaled the bartender for two more glasses of champagne, and waited.

The breasts grew tired of being ogled, and left.  The bastard turned around, and did a double take when he saw me.  “Your Highness!” he exclaimed.  I knew the man would recognize me.  It is one of the perks of being a Duke.  But I was also married to the man’s ex-lover.

I listened to him gush for a minute before he changed the conversation to his own political agenda.  It’s what  was done at these parties; elected officials, nobility, all kinds of politicians rubbing elbows with whomever could wrangle an invitation.

“What did you say your name was?”  I asked smoothly.

“Roger Daniels.”

“Daniels… I knew a family by the name of Daniels back in Fallcastle.  Any relation?”  The bastard blanched for a moment.  He obviously didn’t realize that, like Charity, I am from Fallcastle, almost half a world away.

“I’m from Fallcastle…” the bastard remarked cautiously, knowing that it was odd for him to be playing politics so far from home.

“Really?”  I answered, looking the bastard up and down, reducing him to an object instead of a person.  “You’re quite far from home.”  He had no reply.

I looked up to see Charity, her back to us, watching as couples gathered on the dance floor.  I smiled the smile of a fortunate man and said “If you will excuse me please, I have a very beautiful wife who seems to be lacking a dance partner.”

I kissed the tips of my beautiful wife’s fingers, grateful that she was mine, though incensed at the horrible way she had been treated before our arranged marriage.  We spun onto the dance floor, and she seemed relieved to be in my strong embrace, and even laughed once as I spun us more quickly than necessary through a turn.  I hoped that she would forget the bastard was even there, although I wondered why he was so far from home; coincidentally in a far off Duchy where his old girlfriend happened to be a Duchess.

Before the music stopped, I crushed her to me, claiming her lips in a searing, and very public kiss.  I glanced back at the bar to see if anything needed to be done about the lingering bastard, but I saw that he was in the subtle clutches of Royal, our wife, the White Duchess.

I smiled.

The bastard was doomed.

P.S.  The Red Dress club’s prompt was to write the story AS IF you ARE the annoying person!!  I completely missed that part.  Oops!

This is an uber-short story for The Red Dress Club prompt about Kindergarten.

Although many of the stories on my blog are for adults only, this one is completely G rated.

Left Handed Scissors

We didn’t have desks at Hygiene Elementary School.  We had those odd trapezoidal tables that can be put together in various ways, either as one big hexagon, or a long straight row, or, if the teacher was feeling particularly creative, three tables made a large, awkward triangle.

Usually, we were positioned four at a time to a hexagon.  That made it easy for the teacher to prompt one table at a time to do whatever task was required, like getting scissors.

I remember listening carefully to Mrs. Brown as she explained where the scissors were kept, and how to properly take them out and put them away afterwards.  She also explained why we shouldn’t take the ones with the green handles, but I must have blanked out that part.

I had my eye on those green handled scissors.  I was smart; I was special; I deserved to have fancy scissors with green handles!

I watched my classmates, all of us new to school and sitting down and following directions.  Some were squirrely.  Most, like me, seemed eager to please.  One table at a time, Mrs. Brown allowed her Kindergarteners to go to the shelf and get a pair of scissors to use.

A couple of kids took the precious green handled scissors.  I craned my neck to see if enough were left.  Fortunately, most kids were picking the normal scissors.  How unoriginal.

Our table was called, and for a moment I looked at the plain, silver scissors, something in my mind remembering the teacher giving us some reason for choosing silver versus green, but the specialness of the green tools enthralled me.  I took them.

Back at the table, I took the paper in my left hand, and wielded the scissors in my right, just as I had done a million times at home.  I knew how to do this.  I would impress everyone.

Something felt wrong; the scissors wouldn’t work!  I put them to the paper and squeezed, but instead of creating a neat, sharp cut, the paper simply folded under the pressure, getting stuck between the blades so I had to use both hands to open them again and get the paper out.

Mrs. Brown saw.  She kindly reminded me that the green handled scissors were for left handed children, and told me to go exchange them.

So much for being special.

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ConCrit is more than welcome, it is eagerly anticipated!