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May 1, 2012

I Hraet You (2)

Beat 2: Oh Wait, He's Still Alive

Well, that hurt like hell. 

Which is to say, it STILL hurts like hell.  But at the very least, I’m alive…no thanks to that Ferris wheel.  I never would have guessed that you, of all park rides, would betray me.  But maybe that was all a part of your plan -- to cast suspicion on your friend, the teacup ride, only to attack when I least expected it.

With that golden theory out of the way, Lloyd looked around.  It didn’t do much good; miles of darkness stretched out before him, no matter which direction he looked in.  Come to think of it, he couldn’t even feel his neck twisting, or his eyes swerving.  Curious, he tried holding his hands before his face -- but nothing appeared.  Were they even there?  Or had his brain been jettisoned into the void?  No, that couldn’t be it; he couldn’t imagine the mess he’d make if his gray matter hovered about.

Okay, this could be a problem, he thought, wishing that he had a head to scratch.  I’d rather not stay here if I can help it…wherever here is.  Or maybe “here” is actually “there” in relation to “where” and -- I should stop myself before I blow up my brain with talk of semantics.

Fortunately, Lloyd caught a break -- the void peeled away, one black blotch at a time.  In its place emerged something a bit more pleasing: the ocean, stretching and splashing below him; above, a blue sky with a few puffy clouds, all met with the caw of a seagull squadron.  Well, this is an improvement, but I think I’d like my legs back now, he thought.  As he surveyed the field, he spotted something a few clicks to his right.

A standing lamp.  Apparently, it had decided to give a hefty “screw you” to the laws of physics; its black base stood atop the waves without as much as a wobble, and the light bulb hidden behind its cover remained dry, though it shone no light.

Aha, I see! Lloyd thought, imagining himself with a wide smile.  This is it!  This must be what they call symbolism!  He stared at the lamp.

And he stared at it some more.

And he stared for another full minute.

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.  Well, I’m sure if I stay here long enough, I’m bound to figure out --

“--just what it stands for…wait, what?”
Lloyd blinked rapidly.  That ocean’s rays no longer shone into his eyes; only fluorescent lights remained.  He pressed a hand to his forehead, hoping that the hum he heard was just from the lights, and not his broken brain.  Well, that was odd, he thought -- and it took him a moment to realize that someone had wrapped a rather thick bandage around his head.  Not only that, but his clothes had been swapped; he wore little more than a hospital gown.
As soon as he spotted it, Lloyd tugged his limbs close to his chest.  Gasp!  Have they seen me naked?! he thought, now soaking the sheets with sweat.  No!  I…I feel so violated!  This must be how a teenage girl feels when she gets her first kiss!  He slapped a hand over his mouth, and clamped his legs shut.  Oh, no!  Has my innocence been stolen?
Lloyd -- with a hefty blush -- looked around the room at last, mostly to search for his violator.  He never would have guessed that he’d end up in a hospital room.  His legs kicked about under the bed’s stiff sheets as he surveyed the room; cabinets full of medicinal knickknacks flanked his left, while hefty machinery sat on his right.  The window on his left allowed him a view of the outside -- of the moonless night that hung over Porbeagle, as well as the street lamps buzzing in the parking lot.  And just ahead, he spotted…a rumbling blue blob with four legs?
He patted a hand against one of the cabinets -- barely within reach, but close enough -- and took hold of his glasses.  Lucky me.  They aren’t even cracked, he thought as he set them straight atop his face.  As his vision refocused, the blob transformed.  Luck was on his side; a young woman sat in the chair across from his bed.  And quite a woman, at that!
A wily, toothy grin stretched across Lloyd’s face.  Aha!  If my innocence was stolen by you, my dear, then I consider it an honor!  He leaned forward and stroked his chin, his eyes gleaming as they ran up and down her form.  Now then, let’s analyze you and see what we’re working with!

She leaned her head against the wall, dozing with an increasingly loud snore.  But Lloyd ignored that as he scanned her -- the strawberry blonde locks sliding across her body, and the freckles atop her rounded face caught his eye.  For a little while, of course; he was all too eager to scan her greater features.  She had quite the athletic build, with the long, toned legs to show for it.  Lloyd couldn’t help but notice -- and appreciate -- the fact that she’d chosen to face him in a hastily thrown on jacket and shorts.  Even in the dark he could make out the blue swimsuit clinging to her form.

My, oh my.  It looks like I have a chance to redeem myself for that mishap with Emily, Lloyd thought with a stroke of his chin (noting that thanks to his little injury, his analysis took an eighth of a second longer than usual).  Yes.  I may have missed out on adding one beauty to my harem, but I won’t let another pass me by!

He swept a hand over his bangs and formed the sultriest smile he could muster.  “Why hello there.  So glad you could join me,” he said in a smooth tone.

The girl didn’t answer.  She just kept snoring.

Lloyd rubbed the back of his neck.  “Okay, that probably could’ve gone better,” he muttered to himself.  He cleared his throat.  “Hello there.  It’s a pleasure to --”    
She snorted like a pig, then rolled her head to one side.
“Quite the endearing character trait you’ve got there, ma’am,” Lloyd muttered with a furrowed brow.  “Hey.  Hey!  HEY!”
Still no answer.
“Wake up and let me woo you!” Lloyd whined, slapping his hands against the bed.  He looked around, and spotted something that might help: a glass jar full of cotton balls.  Without a second thought (which probably would have done him some good), he grabbed it and chucked it at her wall.
“Gah!  What in the hell?!” she shouted, just as glass shards and cotton burst everywhere.  She slapped a hand against her chest to calm her heart, and looked for the one responsible.  She didn’t have to look hard; Lloyd sat before her, resting his chin in his hand and smiling coquettishly.

“Oh, hello.  I didn’t see you come in.”

“The hell ya didn’t!  What were ya thinking, chucking that at my head?  Huh?” she demanded, standing up in a huff. 

Lloyd brushed at his bangs and shook his head; he’d noticed the slight southern drawl in her voice before her obvious rage.  A cute voice, he reckoned.  “I was wishing for an audience with you, nothing more.  It’s just such a crime for a woman as lovely as you to go without the respect you so dese-”

“Stop talking like some kind of Shakespeare wannabe, ya purple-haired dandy!” she shouted, thrusting her fists downward.  “Yer lucky yer already in the hospital -- if ya weren’t, I would’ve smacked ya over the head with my surfboard!”

“S-surfboard related violence?” Lloyd asked, with his eyes wide.  “Is that even possible?”

“Of course it -- now hold on a minute.  Where’d that fancy talk o’ yers go?”

“Aha, I see you’ve caught me in the act.”  Lloyd shrugged and shook his head slowly.  “I’ve been through this dance enough times to know that I won’t be making you a part of my harem anytime soon.  You’re much too furious at me to have anything of merit happen now.”

The girl scowled.  “I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear nothin’ about a damn harem.”

“See?  Precisely my point.  Ah, and I thought that I’d be getting lucky today at last.”

The girl scratched at her temple, her scowl giving way to a confused frown.  “Count yer blessings, pal.  Yer still alive, so that’s gotta be something, right?”

Lloyd nodded slowly; he couldn’t argue with that.  “One could argue that being rejected by a woman you care about is worse than having a Ferris wheel fall on you,” he said with a bitter grin.  He stared at his guest with wide eyes.  “Oh.  Wait.  How DID I make it out of there alive?  I couldn’t have swum here on my own.  Unless…”

“Yep.  Yer a lucky one, pal -- I’m the one that saved ya.  Just be glad I was hanging around on the beach when High Tide Park fell apart.”
“I am!  I am!”  He rubbed his hair and smiled sheepishly.  “You must not have a high opinion of me right now.  Rejected, wearing my Sunday worst, AND needing to be rescued.  Not exactly very manly traits, eh?”
“Aw, don’t sweat it.  Ya should just be happy yer alive…uh…”  She held up her hands.  “Sorry.  Didn’t catch yer name there, buddy.”
“Lloyd B. Hoigleheimer.”
“…Sorry I asked.”
“And what’s yours?  I can’t just think of you as the sexy-legged blonde who saved my life.”
She bore her teeth in a canine grimace, but quickly shook it off.  “The name’s Trixie.  Trixie Walters.”  She stepped forward and offered her hand.  “It’s a pleasure.  Well, kinda.”
“The pleasure is mine, my dear,” Lloyd said with a nod.  He took her hand in his own.  And then...



1 comment:

  1. I laughed out loud at the effortless follow up to pitching a glass jar of cotton balls next to her. The picture was clearly painted in my head how hammy that smile was.

    I was about to comment on the fact that he didn't describe Trixie *ahem* from the neck down, but then I realized. He's a pervert by principle. It fits. He really strikes me as the sort that finds beauty in all women.