Thursday, January 26, 2017

Story 170: Destination Wedding: Party of Three

            “I’m so glad we’re having our wedding on Easter Island,” Groom-To-Be said to Bride-To-Be.  “I’ve always wanted to go there and see those fascinating yet creepy yet enigmatic statues.”
            “Hon,” Bride-To-Be said while she opened her mail, “we’re getting married at Easter Island so no one actually comes to the wedding.”
            “I know, but I still want to see those things.”
            Bride-To-Be froze after opening a small envelope: “Oh no.”
            “Monique sent back our last RSVP saying she’s attending.”
           “Monique!  My late Aunt Esmeralda’s goddaughter.  I automatically sent her an invite because she shows up to every family event.  I should’ve seen this coming!”
            “Oh.  So, no big deal, just tell her we cancelled the destination wedding and eloped to City Hall instead.”
            Bride-To-Be stared at him.  “How can I say that and then post our wedding photos with ‘Wish You Were Here’ on them?!”
            “But we don’t wish they were there.”
            “That’s the point!  And now Monique says she’s coming!  What’re we going to do?!”
            “Guess we’ll have to order one more of… everything.  Man!”
            (At the departure gate in the airport)
           “Hi, guys!”  Monique ran to Bride-To-Be and Groom-To-Be and hugged them simultaneously.  She was wearing touristy shorts, shirt, shoes, and shades.  “I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for you two!”  She turned to Groom-To-Be and shook his hand.  “Hi, I’m Monique, non-blood relative – we haven’t met before today, but I can tell you’re good people.”
She turned to Bride-To-Be: “Sweetie, it’s been at least seven years, how grow-up you’ve gotten!  Your parents would be so proud of you!”
            “Thanks, Monique.  We’re so glad you could join us.”
            “So!”  Monique continued as they boarded the plane and took their seats in the same row.  “Who else from the fam will be at the wedding?”
            “Actually, it’s just us three,” Bride-To-Be said.  “Everyone said they couldn’t make it.  Except you.”
            “Aw,” Monique said, with a bit of a sad face.  She then hugged the couple across the seats.  “It’ll be a nice intimate ceremony, then.”
            (At the outdoor wedding ceremony on Easter Island)
            “Monique,” Bride-To-Be said as they walked down the aisle, “you really don’t have to give me away.”
            “Nonsense; in the absence of your parents I’d be remiss in neglecting my duties as the only witness.”
            As Groom-To-Be began getting antsy while waiting on the dais, Monique leaned toward Bride-To-Be and spoke in a low, intense voice: “You nervous?  Afraid he’ll forget his lines?  Afraid you’ll forget your lines?  I’m just kidding, you’ll do great, go get `im!”  She slapped Bride-To-Be lightly on the rear as they reached the dais; she then took the only seat on the ground level.
            The ceremony commenced, with the officiant stopping several times to glare at Monique sharply as the sound of joyful weeping rose to overwhelm his words.  Right before the couple’s vows, she screeched: “I object!”
            “What?!”  The couple turned on her.
            Monique choked out, “I’m sorry, I said that hoping it would calm me down.”  She then wailed, “It didn’t work!”
            After the ceremony, there was a romantic dinner held right next to where the wedding took place.  Two tables were arranged, one for two and one for one.
            Partway through the pasta course, Monique stood and began tapping her glass with her fork.  The couple stared at her.  “Well there really is no one else to give a speech,” she said as she raised her glass.  “I just want to say, we are all blessed to be here on this beautiful night, in this beautiful place, in the shadow of these beautiful statues,” Monique began, gesturing to the distant towering figures; Groom gave them the side-eye.  “I know my late Godmomma, your dear Aunt Esmeralda, would be happy for us all.  And your parents and grandparents and all the rest of them.”  Bride did a double-take.  “I remember when you were yay high,” Monique held her hand two feet off the ground, “and life was just beginning to unfold for you!”
            Forty-five minutes later….
          “And life!  Continues to unfold!  I just, I mean, there are no words.”  Monique sat down, shaking her head and still holding up her glass.
            Groom blinked.  “Is that it?”
            “Oh, you want more?”  She started to stand again.
            “No!”  Bride held out her hands to stop her.  “You’ve already said it all – so – beautifully.  Thank you.”
            Monique sniffed back tears and tilted her glass to them.  “To the happy couple.”
            They raised their glasses to her and all three drank.
           “So,” Monique said after setting her glass down.  “What’s on the agenda for the rest of our trip?”
         “Ooh, I’m glad you asked,” Groom handed her a brochure.  “Solitude Strolls!  They’re self-guided tours that take you across the entire island.  Alone.”
            “Awesome!”  Monique became engrossed in the brochure.  “I’m feeling ready for some ‘me’ time right about now; how about you two?”

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Story 169: Superhero Sick

            Injustice is served; The Summons is sent; our Superheroes assemble along the skyline:
           Laser – She has super-strength, and her ultimate weapon is the lasers she issues from her hands and eyes.
         Typhoon – He also has super-strength, and can spin to generate a whirlwind of epic proportions.
          Magnet – She also has super-strength, and fights by attracting and repelling the iron within her opponents’ blood, making them defeat themselves.
           Zephyr – She also has super-strength, and she can fly and generate gale-force winds, knocking aside all in her path.
            Agua – He also has super-strength, and his ultimate weapon is the gallons of water he issues from his hands –
           Agua: Hey guys?  (The line-up turns to him; he speaks with a choking voice) I went to the doctor today and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection; would you mind if I sit this one out?  I really can't bring my A game right now, if you know what I mean.
            Laser: (Her eyes turn red) Listen Bobby, when The City issues The Summons, they expect all five of us and all five of us is what they’re going to get!
            Agua: (Coughing) Yeah, but it’s not like they pay us, right?
            Laser: Just get out there!  (She runs towards The Injustice and the others follow)
            Magnet: (To Agua) I would say she’s being harsh, but I saw her fight that one time when she had shingles, for the sole purpose of not letting any of us ever call out sick.
            Agua: (Blowing his nose) Well I’m doomed.
            (Their Opponents found, Justice is dealt out in stylized martial arts-ish choreography, lasers, winds, magnetic forces, and waters.  Agua has one Opponent by the throat just so the fight does not end too early, when the alarm on his watch goes off)
            Agua: (To Opponent) Excuse me.  (He uses his free hand to take a pill, trying to not choke as he dry swallows it)
            Opponent: (Still being held by the throat) Z-Pack?
            Agua: Yeah, how’d you know?
            Opponent: Dude, you’ve been hacking up a lung and dropping tissues all over the place.
            Agua: Ooh, sorry, didn’t mean to litter.
          Opponent: That’s all right; respiratory infections are the worst.  One time I had it I stopped taking the pills after four days – never made that mistake again.
            Agua: I’m only on day two, and this thing’s still kicking my butt.
          Opponent: I know, and it’s even worse that your superpowers are worthless against it, you know what I mean?
            Agua: Exactly!
           Laser: EXCUSE ME!  (The other two turn to her) Did someone call for a break to chitchat?!!!
            Agua: I have to take this thing at the same time every day or else it’s useless!
            Opponent: It’s OK, I’m just about to pass out from lack of air any second now.  Hope you feel better, man.
            Agua: Thanks – (Opponent passes out; Agua lays him down gently)
            Laser: (Glaring at Agua) Lucky for you.
            (The Superheroes gather in their Headquarters before The Final Showdown)
            Typhoon: I think Zephyr and I can generate enough winds between the two of us to literally blow all our opponents away, whaddya say?
            Laser: Too easy – Magnet?
          Magnet: I could control their bodies like a master puppeteer and make them all fight each other.
            Laser: No has any imagination around here.  Agua?
            Agua: (Curled up in an armchair with a blanket and a cup of tea) I could just get them all sick and then they’d be too incapacitated to do… anything.
            Laser: Impossible: you’re not contagious.  I need real ideas, people!
            Zephyr: Why don’t you just laser them?
            Laser: We can’t “just” anything!  All right, here’s the plan: we’re going to do a combination of everything we said here and hope for the best.  Except for what Agua said, that’s just rubbish.
            Agua: Good, does that mean I can stay here then?
            Laser: No!
           (At The Final Showdown, the superheroes use a combination of their powers to take down their opponents.  Agua sits to the side, weakly issuing a steam of water from one hand while burying his face in a humidifier.  They win the day)
            Laser: At last!  Victory is ours!
            Supervillain: For now!  But we’ll be back!  (Sneezes) In a few weeks.  (Exits dramatically and sickly)
            Laser: (To the team) Well all, that was some great work you did there.  I’m proud of you.  (The rest stare at her) You can disassemble now.  (Typhoon, Magnet, and Zephyr leave) Agua, I have to say that you also did good work in light of your… temporary disability.  You’re an important asset to this team; all you need is to focus on your work ethic and someday you really will be great.
            Agua: (Stands to get in her face) My doctor called: it’s not an upper respiratory infection, it’s bronchitis, and I’m still contagious.
            Laser: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
           Next Time: Injustice is served; The Summons is sent – our Superheroes are all out sick.  The Regular Heroes will have to do.