Some time over the last few days, we've broken over 20,000 hits on the blog. So, milestone? Honestly, I think I would be perfectly happy just writing dialogue between Sam and Kenny and Lucy and Christine for the rest of the story and ignoring the plot. This bit is fun, and I really like it. It gets a little of the plot through, and it helps us see the inner workings of Lucy's mind and plot. We also get to start seeing her have misgivings about her revenge plot, though it seems like she really wants to go through with it. And, yes. I believe this might be the only conversation on the Internet that tries to conflate Jiminy Cricket with the devil. As always, here is your table of contents.
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I stopped to look at myself in the mirrors along the sides of the main ball room. Even though I was a lowly nobody, apparently if you wear a frilly enough dress and gloves, men will let you do almost anything. I think that was a lesson my mom had taught me. Or maybe Christine; I don’t know what it says about them that I mix up the life lessons each one has imparted on me.
Christine/Mom had said: “All men are just tall little boys; they want to beat up the bad guy and save the princess.”
So, the theory went, if you gave them a problem and seemed like a princess, they’d go out of their way to help you. I had asked if this was not manipulative and somewhat cruel, but Christine/Mom had scoffed at the thought. “There’s no harm in it at all,” She had said, whichever she it had been.
So I sat at the table looking lost and helpless until one of the men who was moving everything in came to ask me if everything was alright.
“I’m supposed to be reserving seats for the family of one of tonight’s speakers,” I said. I told him the names and he asked me to stay right there while he checked the guest list. He came back.
“They’re on the list; I could make you a placard to reserve them a table, if you’d like.”
“That would be very nice of you sir,” I said with a smile. “Could we put them in the back?”
“Why not in the front? Wouldn’t it be easier for them to see?”
“Oh, it is kind of a surprise,” I said. He shrugged; we walked to the back and picked a table. “Are you going to be here for the event tonight?”
“Nope,” He said. “I’m going to get out of here before that starts. I hate parties. I’ll let the person at the front know to direct those folks here.”
Jon hated surprises, and frankly, I kind of hated Jon. So, I figured this was perfectly fair. I had talked with Christine about this part of my plan over breakfast. She had heartily approved of strawberry syrup and my plan.
“You’re going to get cold feet and not go through with it,” She’d said. “That’s the main reason I’m coming. I’m going to be your Jiminy Cricket.”
“Didn’t he tell Pinocchio not to bad things?”
“And look where that got Pinocchio. Turned into a donkey. No, I’m going to tell you to do this. For once in your life, go through with it and assert yourself on the world.”
“I think you’re more Faustus than Jiminy Cricket.”
“Faustus was the doctor; the devil was the, well, devil on his shoulder,” Christine said. It would figure the one piece of literature in the whole world she knows is the one where the guy sells his soul to the devil. Though, actually, I guess there are a lot of those.
“Aren’t you excited to see me embrace this new me?”
“No. You’ll probably end up throwing up hors d’oeuvres, heaving in guilt.”
“You always paint such pretty pictures of me,” I said. “First I’m a puppet, then I’m a doctor, then I’m a wretch. When do you have to go meet with Sam’s friend?”
“Whenever I want. You haven’t been on enough pity dates if you don’t know how they work.”
“You seem a lot meaner than usual today Christine,” I said. “Did someone mess up your pancakes?”
“I’m trying to get you in the right frame of mind for revenge!” She said. “Maybe I should make you watch Old Yeller.”
“You’re the worst Jiminy Cricket ever,” I said. “Even if you’d look dapper in his hat.”
“Women don’t look dapper, Lucy,” She said. “But, I’d look damn hot in that hat.”
It was true. It is a really nice hat. But, I think women can look dapper. But Christine has odd beliefs on things, so you learn to just not question her. For example, she’s one of those weird girls who will mix her syrups into one brownish glob. She claims she can taste the distinct flavors of the blueberry, the strawberry, the maple: But I know you can’t. I tried it once late at night when no one else was there. It just tastes like a sugary mass of diabetes.
“I’ve decided I’m wearing pink too,” Christine said between bites. “It matches the whole theme of the night, right? And, this way, if anyone says that the riot was caused by the girl in pink, I can share some of the credit.”
“Blame, Christine. It’s called blame when it is a bad thing,” I said. “You’re the worst Jiminy Cricket ever.”