Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It's a relief to be able to use upper case and punctuation again. On the down side, it feels weird to have just the two legs; it's amazing how much you get used to the idea that it's impossible to fall over.

Perseid and I spent a lot of time arguing about how we were going to stop Redburn from... from doing whatever his screwed-up plan involved. We couldn't get anywhere, which was perfectly natural, considering how we were a cat and a bug with no resources and impaired plan-making abilities. Looking back on it, we were actually pretty messed up.

The key break came one night about a week ago when I was scavenging for crumbs and the Psycho Fairy Bitch popped out of nowhere. She was dragging around the PDA I'd given her, and when she saw me, she shrieked and tried to flatten me with it, yelling, "Fairy gold! Fairy gold!"

"Ow! Stop it! What's your problem?"

She shook the PDA at me. "Fairy gold!"

It took a minute to figure out what she was talking about. Then I got it. "What, did you wear out the battery already? I can fix that. But you have to do a couple of things for me first." This was genius-level thinking for a cockroach.

"No!" she said, and whacked me with the PDA again. Spoiled brat. My carapace was so thick, though, that she wasn't really doing any damage to me.

"Suit yourself," I said, and hunkered down.

"Wait," she said, and narrowed her eyes. "Why are you a beetle?" As if she just noticed all of a sudden.

"Change me back and I'll tell you the whole story," I said.

"No! I'll tell you the story!" she screamed, and morphed, and became, well, me. Not roach-me, but actual Dennis-me. "Once upon a time I was a big mean stupid thing! I cheated Shenaniga by giving her a puzzle that was fairy gold! Then I was a bug and I wouldn't help her!" She/I turned to run upstairs and I made a quick jump for her/my pant leg.

I rode her cuff up to the main floor, where the staircase originated behind the bar. She busted through the door and the bartender glanced over and said, "Hey, chief, that's off limits to customers."

"Shut up! I'm big and smelly and stupid and I don't have to listen to you! I don't have to be nice to anybody!" Oh, hell.

The bartender and bouncer exchanged a significant glance. As the bouncer moved in, the bartender picked up the phone.

She started poking around among the bottles and glasses, idly knocking some of them over. "Look at me, breaking shiny things. That's 'cause I'm a big lumpy giant. I don't care about anything."

"Do you want to cut it out?" I said to her. "You're gonna get us in trouble." I hoped she hadn't morphed up any ID when she turned into me, because the cops were probably about to show up and the last thing I need is a criminal record.

"I don't care. I can't help it. I wreck everything. I'm a big hairy cheat and I smell bad from under my arms."

The bouncer, a big nasty shaven-headed guy, reached over and got her in some kind of upper arm hold. He tried to hustle her out from behind the bar.

"Ow!" she shrieked. "You stinkard!" She spit some golden glowing stuff on the bouncer and he turned into a duck. Everybody in the bar freaked out and ran for the door. The bartender was punching phone buttons and missing half of them.

I continued to cling to her pant leg. She trotted outside, curious about what everyone was running towards. There were only a few people and one duck still in the bar.

"It smells out here. It smells everywhere. This place is stupid. There aren't any flowers," she declared, and waved her hands. Flowers and vines emerged from every crack in the sidewalk and road, from every gap between bricks, from every flaw and seam in the concrete around us. In seconds, we were surrounded in greenery. As the foliage grew and massed, she sat down in the middle of the road and tried to figure out the PDA. "I can fix this," she said. "I'm big now and I can do anything a bug can do. Fix fix fix!" She tapped the H key dramatically.

"It needs a new battery," I said.

"Shut up! You're a beetle. You don't know. I'm big and I have all this earwax and my smell gives me the power to make the fairy gold puzzle work." She squinted at a parked car; it chirped and flew away.

We continued on in this vein for a few minutes until Bob showed up. I don't remember the last time I was so glad to see anybody.

"Dennis?" he said. "What the hell's going on?"

"That's not Dennis," I said. "I am. I'm a roach now." Of course he couldn't hear me.

"I don't want to talk to you," the PFB said to Bob. "I'm fixing this."

"What's with all the flowers? What are you doing?"

"I need to be a big stupid thing to fix this! Now go away!" She shook her (my) head, and a cloud of bees flew out of her hair and converged on Bob.

"Okay, then," Bob said, ignoring the bees, and punched her out. The punch knocked her out of my shape (and me onto the sidewalk nearby) and back into her own inch-tall glowy form, which he snatched out of the air. At least, I couldn't follow the movement of his hand, but she was definitely trapped in his fist a second later. He squinted at her. "All right, honey, where's Dennis?"

"He's a bug!"

"Yeah, well, either he's standing in front of me in five seconds or I pop your head off like a beer cap," Bob told her. I have since learned that he was bluffing.

An instant later I was myself again. Things wrapped up quickly after that; Bob and I got the little bitch to turn Perseid and the bouncer human again, but we decided to leave the flowers where they were.
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