Chapter 4, "Returning Home After An Awesome Vacation"
[Author's note: As many people reading this story these days are not following along post by post, I have added the following four locales that were originally posted one at a time, in posts by themselves, to mimic Bella's depression months in New Moon. Enjoy.]
Sorry about that, Lou won the annual Hobo of the Year contest. I didn't even know they had such a thing! Apparently, once a year, all of the hobos in Spatulas hold a drawing in the back alley of Macy's and pick a hobo they feel best represents the core qualities of hoboliness.
I guess Lou is pretty hoboly. So anyway, we won a trip to various far-off and exotic locales, while the hobos of Spatulas renovated Lou's home for him!
When we got back, the cardboard mansion had been totally decked out. It was reinforced with plywood now, we had a couple of swanky lawn flamingos, and the hobo committee had strung brightly colored Christmas lights all over the place, so when we flipped a switch, the whole place blinked. They'd even installed a wheelchair motor in my fairy wagon, so if I pushed a button on the side, it actually moved without me scooting it manually!
Life was pretty sweet. But I don't want to talk about that.
I want to talk about how much I freaking hate space aliens. I'd decided that the whole "Xlormp leaving me for some arbitrary reason even though he claimed to love me and stuff" was really a blessing in disguise. I don't need love to live. Love is stupid. What I need is an unnecessary hatred of my surroundings.
It had been a while since I'd really stopped to loathe the roses. I realized, now that I was home again, that I'd actually missed it. I'd been spending way too much time feeling happy and satisfied with life.
So when I went back to school for the first time in months the next day, I decided to test out my freshly re-discovered grumping skills. The first thing I did was put on clothes that I thought were ugly. Then, I climbed into Marcy (the plywood fairy wagon, you remember), and propelled my motorized bum to school.
I marched into the hallways with an air of determined detestation. Hector approached me jovially.
"Frig! I hear Xlormp left, never to return! You sure have been gone a long time. Everyone at work thought you quit."
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that in a feeble attempt to be more normal, I got a job at Amazing Land with Hector. Do you want to know a secret? Amazing Land isn't quite so amazing once you've had to scrape spittle off the roof of the hamburger shack.
"I was off having fantastic adventures that don't involve this stupid school, or the imbeciles that populate it," I explained purposefully.
"Oh," Hector sighed. "Can I hear about them?"
Christopher loped up to me and her brother, trying, probably, to look like she wasn't super excited to see me back. I knew she was, though. Of the entire name tag crew, Christopher was the only one who still wore hers faithfully. It seemed silly, though. Since she had saved my life and all, I was less likely to forget her name.
"Hey, Frig," she said. "I see you're back in school."
I sniffed noncommittally. "Unfortunately."
Christopher nodded. "Well. Glad you're back," she said, and walked off.
Hector glared at me. "She's been miserable, you know. With you gone and everything."
I glared right back at him. "Hey, it's not my fault Lou is awesome and won us an awesome trip."
"I'm just saying, you shouldn't take it out on her, just because Xlormp's a flaky alien jerk who left you."
I felt my fist clench up, which was weird, because I was just as furious at Xlormp as Hector seemed to be. Except I guess it's different if someone else says crummy things about him. He used to be my slimy lover, after all.
I didn't have a chance to clock Hector in the face, because he'd walked off to join his sister. I went ahead and made my way to my first class, something boring that I didn't really need to learn.
Settling into my seat, I remembered another member of the name tag crew sat next to me in this class. This seemed like the perfect chance to work on my grumping skills.
I jabbed her in the side and said, "Hey."
She grimaced, and turned around. "What?"
"Which one are you?" I asked.
"Jessica," she snarled at me.
Oh yeah, her. The one with the stupid name.
"Well, Jessica, I was wondering if perhaps you would like to go on a 'girls night out' with me tonight." I did those little air-quote things, because that's what all the cool kids do. And I was pretending to be cool, so that later, I could crush her spirit and use it to spice my spite stew.
But Jessica seemed confused by my invitation. "I'm confused by your invitation," she said.
"It's just that we never hang out, you see," I attempted to explain.
"That's because I don't really like you, and also you've been gone for, like, months."
"And anyway, I like movies. I thought maybe we could watch one."
"Your boyfriend evaporated Steve right after he'd asked me to go with him to the end-of-term shindig."
This wasn't going at all as I'd hoped. Jessica seemed pretty resistant to the idea of letting me piss her off in public.
"Okay, fine, well, never mind." I turned to the seat on my other side, where another name tag girl sat. I prodded her.
"What?" she demanded.
"Which one are you?" I demanded back.
"Okay, well, Lexington, how would you like to accompany me a trip to the movies this evening?" I enticed.
"It sounds fun. But even more fun would be shoving a lava hot rod up my nose and curling my nose hairs."
I blanched. "Why would you do that?"
"A girl's got to look pretty," she snarled, turning back in her seat.
Christopher stood up from the front row. "I'll go with you, Frig!" she hollered.
"That's okay, Christopher," I replied. I figured I should keep her on my good side in case I ever need last minute saving again.
So that was a bust. So much for going out with the girls and making them feel terrible about their own self-worth. Maybe next time.
In my miserableness, I motored my fairy wagon a different way home. Usually, I went one way to get home, but today, I went a whole other way. It was a way with lots of back roads and crazy twists and turns. I hoped that it would make me feel all invigorated or something, since I had all this bitchy energy to burn.
All of a sudden, I saw something in the distance. A creature, tall and kind of boxy. Like it was made of boxes or something. Weird. I knew in my heart that I should probably run away, but the creature intrigued me. What the crap was it?
I zoomed ever so slightly forward. The creature remained still, but a voice reverberated abruptly in my brain: "Frig! Your surroundings are unsafe - stop being stupid!"
I gasped. That voice...it sounded like...
But no, it couldn't be! Because the owner of that voice was millions of light years away, on a spaceship somewhere, not even thinking about me.
I shook my head and sighed. I was okay with being a pissy jerk. I was less okay with being a cracked out lunatic. That was Lou's job.
I figured weird creature investigation could be put on hold until later, and I motored my butt back to the plywood mansion.
Chapter List OF DOOM.