Tuesday, 29 September 2015

"Connect a flashlight, umbrella, sunglasses, key chain, and hair brush."

"Frankie? Frankie?"
     She pushed the sleeping body off of her, groaning.
     "There you are!" Danny grinned and pulled her upright. Frankie slumped to the ground again and puked. Danny grimaced and held back her hair.
     "Fuck..." Frankie wiped vomit off her mouth with the back of her hand, shaking slightly. "I feel like shit."
     "Look like it, too," Danny chuckled.
     Frankie opened her crusted eyes and stared at her fellow passed out teenagers. The sun was just starting to rise.
     "My mom is hanging out with us today," Danny reminded her, "and you've already bailed twice." He flicked on a flashlight and started waking up the other kids.
     Frankie righted herself, resisting the urge to vomit again. Her mouth felt too sticky to open and she couldn't summon the power to argue.
     Danny turned to Frankie and shined the light on her.
     "Fuck, Danny!"
     "Sorry! Do you have the truck's keys? We need to get going now if we want to get there in time."
     Frankie searched her pockets, shaking her head. A raging headache rattled inside her skull. "Wait, we're driving straight there? I need to clean myself up first! I smell like booze!"
     Danny gulped nervously, getting on his hands and knees to search the campfire. "It's a five hour drive, Frankie, and we're already running late. I didn't think that we would end up in Colorado."
     Frankie turned to the unconscious Hiram and rifled through his belongings, searching for the owl key chain. He awoke with a start and grabbed Frankie's hands, pulling her close. "What d'you think you're doing?"
     "I need the keys, Hi."
     "Screw off. It's my truck, and you guys never pay for gas."
     "Stop being such a prick, Hi," Frankie growled, then blinked. "Did you get a tongue piercing last night? Man, that thing's got to be infected."
     An ugly, purple ring of inflamed tongue ran around Hiram's new green-tinged piercing. Hiram smirked. "Give me a kiss and I'll give you the keys."
     Danny wrenched Frankie from Hiram's grasp and held out his hand. "Keys. Now."
     "Ah, fuck off, man. Why d'you always have to push us around?" whined Hiram, tossing Danny the key chain.
     "C'mon, Frankie, you can sleep while I drive."
     Two hours later, Frankie woke with her head bobbing on Danny's rolled up sweater, propped against the passenger window. Wordlessly, Danny handed her a bottle of water that she eagerly drank from to soothe her dehydration. She rubbed the crust from her eyes and opened them, but snapped them shut again at the once as the sun glared at her.
     Danny tossed her a pair of plastic, blue-framed sunglasses that she gratefully wore. She opened her folding mirror-hairbrush and spent a good twenty minutes doing her hair before she was satisfied. "I still look hungover," she moaned, "but at least I can go out in public."
     In the third hour of the trip, a steady, quiet beat of rain lulled Frankie back to sleep. She awoke a little while later as Danny gently shook her shoulders, offering her a Sub.
     "I heard your stomach growling. I'm sorry I couldn't get something nicer."
     Frankie took it gratefully, biting into it tentatively, accompanied by a sip of water.
     "We'll be there in ten. You look much better," Danny said.
     "I still reek," Frankie sighed, "and your mother doesn't like drinking."
     "She'll share a glass of sherry now and again."
     Danny pulled up at the end of the street, squeezing Frankie's hand encouragingly. He opened her door and helped her out. "I'll see if Hi left and umbrella in here," Danny said, fishing around the truck's seats.
     Frankie stood in the rain, sobered, her full tummy helping her gain her senses, the cool water clearing her mind. "Actually, wait," Frankie said as Danny emerged with a navy, white polka-dotted umbrella, "this is nice. I'd rather she think that we got caught in a storm than plastered. Besides, I need a shower!"
     Danny kissed the side of her head and took her hand. "You sure? It's a long walk down the path."
     "Yeah," she said, "and we can talk. We haven't done that in a while."
     They strolled down the path, clinging together, drenched to the bones, leaving squelchy, criss-crossing footprints in their wake.

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