Chapter 7, "I'm Sorry, Things Can Only Be So Interesting When There's No Slimy Alien Makeouts to Be Had"
School had been pretty weird since I got back from vacation. It's like everyone was all upset about my choice to revert back to bitchiness. Didn't they realize that it wasn't my fault? After all, I'm not the one who decided to hop on a space ship and never return again. I could have, too. I could just be gone completely. I bet everyone would be sorry then.
But it didn't really matter what everyone else thought. I had plans, plans to become something much cooler, and it was those plans that kept me going now. Those plans kept my bitterness up to snuff.
Christopher kept sneaking me notes during class. They said things like, "Hector is a stupid head," and "If you want to get the bastards, the first step is cunning." Sometimes these notes were helpful and informative. Sometimes they were creepy, like the one that said, "I like licking my toes when there's no one else around."
Hector had become kind of distant. Well, it's not like I constantly talked to him or anything like that before, but rather, there were less anonymous gifts on my desk, and he didn't follow me everywhere anymore.
I felt a little sad about it. Then I got over it and decided Christopher was probably right, he's just a stupid head.
After school, scooting around at three miles per hour on my fancy-ass wagon, a sudden ponderance overcame me. The Winstons, I thought...what would they be up to now that they had no alien children to pretend to love?
Without thinking, I steered my sweet ride in the direction of their home. When I got there, they were outside, painting the house a light mauve.
They seemed pretty happy. It's strange, I'd spent a lot of time in this house over the summer, and I'd never seen either Winston smiling without an alcoholic beverage in their hand. But looking around, I could see no sign of alcohol, just happiness.
I considered waving, saying hi, something like that. But I stopped myself. I'm not sure why. Maybe...maybe if I talked to them, their happiness would remind me that secretly, under all of this raging hatred and grumpiness, I was actually in terrible misery?
No, that's silly. I snorted to myself and scooted back to Lou's.
That weekend, I found myself back at Christopher and Hector's house, because Christopher managed to convince her brother that I wouldn't start an intergalactic war just by learning about shiny guns. Probably.
So I went over to their house, hopeful this time. Christopher was prepared, wearing her name tag and what she probably thought were attractive clothes. Hector, on the other hand, made no attempts at appearing attractive.
He sat me down and said to me, "Listen, Frig. I've been thinking about what you said last time a lot. About wanting to be an alien hunter. Here's the thing: If I don't agree to train you, Christopher will poison me in my sleep or something, but you have to make me a promise."
I didn't really like the idea of promising anything before I knew what it was, but I did like the idea of learning how to crush Xlormp into a billion pieces. So I nodded.
"You have to promise me that if my dad ever comes home while we're doing alien stuff, that you don't know anything, and we were actually playing Yahtzee or something."
Oh, lying! That's something I could do, given enough practice. Usually lying seemed silly, it was so much more satisfying to tell someone, "Actually, that hat you're wearing looks like a chicken stuffed with penguin feet." But I'm sure I could get the hang of it.
"Sounds good," I agreed.
Christopher clapped giddily. "Let's take her to The Place!" she shouted.
"The Place?" Hector repeated, rolling his eyes. "She needs to learn all the codes and theory and stuff before we could even think about taking her to The Place."
I had no idea about this "Place" they spoke of, but Hector saying "no" intrigued me quite a bit. Christopher sighed. "Fine, if we can't take her to The Place, can we at least get her a snazzy uniform?"
Hector considered this. He seemed to be considering for quite a while when finally, he shrugged. "It's a little out of order, but I suppose that would be feasible."
Hector was getting pretty obnoxious with all of his seriousness and stuff. I thought he'd have been cool with the idea of getting to spend time with me, teaching me things. I mean, wasn't he the one that was so gung-ho to tell me about the poison sweat all those months ago? What was the deal now? Did he suddenly love aliens?
Apparently, the snazzy uniform dealer lived within walking distance of Christopher and Hector's house. The jaunt over there was swift and short. We approached a building with a fancy, gold inlaid sign that said, "Mr. Smith's Fine Clothing Emporium". Underneath that was a smaller, handwritten sign that read, "Now with 90% more complimentary fruit juice". We entered.
A man with a face stood behind the counter. "Ah, Mr. and Ms. Haberdash!" he said. "Fruit juice?"
Haberdash? I thought to myself. It never occurred to me that these people had last names. But I guess they did, didn't they?
"No thanks," Hector wibbled, holding up a hand to indicate his irritating negativity.
"What can I do for you today?" the man prompted thoughtfully.
Christopher slapped the man a wicked high five. "My friend here needs a snazzy alien hunting costume."
"Ah!" the man, presumably Mr. Smith, said. "I'll be right back, have a seat!"
We had a seat, and true to his word, Mr. Smith did come right back. He proved quite good at his job, and in less than half an hour, I had a snazzy uniform.
"Thanks, kids! Tell your father I said hello!" Mr. Smith waved as we left the place.
Christopher cooed over my new outfit, while Hector worried about whether Mr. Smith would rat us out to their father. But the fun ceased when Christopher held up her arm and said, "Wait!"
She seemed extra alert, like a very tiny dog who got over-excited about things that weren't really all that exciting.
"They're here," she whispered to Hector. "Maybe we should go a different way."
I looked at Hector, hoping for some sort of explanation, but he only nodded. He gestured for us to follow him, and we did, taking some crazy, twisting back roads that didn't make use of modern amenities, like "pavement". We arrived back to the house eventually.
"So what was that all about?" I asked when we were inside.
"Local hoodlums," Hector said.
"Jerk-face bullies," Christopher corrected snappily. "They keep trying to get Hector to hang out with them."
"Oh." The idea of anyone wanting to hang out with Hector was pretty weird to me, and also not that interesting, so I shrugged. "Shall we get on with the alien hunting?"
Chapters Of the Previous Nature
HA, LJ cut off the title in the subject line. THAT'S PRETTY AWESOME, I THINK. I'm not shortening it for YOU, lj, I'm sticking it to the man.