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June 6, 2013

I Hraet You (63)

Beat 63: A Battlefield is No Place for Snacks

Even though he’d been offered such, and even with the scent of love-filled cookies wafting through the kitchen, somehow Lloyd couldn’t bring himself to keep his appetite.  “That’s quite the sense of humor, ma’am,” he said with an unnatural laugh.  “The way you speak, it sounds as if I’m in danger.  I would have assumed that as Miss O’Leary’s mother, you’d have thought her the one that needs protecting.”

“Oh no, I know my daughter’s strong enough to take care of herself,” Jane answered, offering her own laugh -- one several times more unnatural than Lloyd’s.  “It’s just that she can be so…so…”  She trailed off, though she kept an increasingly-eerie smile on her face as she moved from counter to counter.

“…So what, exactly?” Lloyd asked.

Jane looked back at him.  “Beg your pardon?”

“You started saying something about her, but you seem to have been at a loss for words.”

Jane pressed a hand to her cheek.  “Oh, I suppose I was, wasn’t I?”  She stared at Lloyd for a half minute.  “Oh well.”  And she went about her business once more. 

Something is definitely not right here, Lloyd thought.  Methinks I’d be in less danger if I tried to romance a shark.

“Mom?”

Jane turned toward the hall, as did Lloyd.  “Yes, sweetie?”

Mom?”

“Yes?”

Mooooooooooooooooooom?”

“What?!”

“…Did you get the door?”

Jane jerked her head a few times, but (somehow) kept up a pleasant smile.  “Of course I did.  Come say hi to our guest -- I’m sure you’ll be happy to see him.”

A few snorts and sniffles echoed from the hall, and Sheila followed closely behind.  Of course, Lloyd was there to spot her, finding no shortage of solace in knowing that her breasts came into view first.  She might have shown up wearing a jersey and shorts, but those just accented her form all the more.  The jersey, especially; the twin zeroes atop it had been horrifically distorted, and the plunging collar showed off more than a little of the valley nestled within.  Even beyond those, Sheila offered knockout blow after knockout blow; her legs went on for days, and with those mighty hips she looked as if she practically begged for a release.  And all of it was wrapped in pale yet peachy skin that would put thousand-dollar pearls to shame.

Her body was more than enough to make grown men (and women) weak in the knees…but everything from the shoulders up looked like the work of a particularly-bitter octopus.  A neck that could break belts in two, and lips like overweight slugs.  Puffy cheeks, band-aids, and a swarm of oversized freckles.  A swollen, reddened nose that tossed more fluid than Niagara Falls.  Glasses that could stop a wrestler’s fist cold, nearly rendering her eyes invisible, but doing nothing about her bushy brows.  Clumps of frizzy red and brown hair, tied into low-hanging braids, but ready to strangle any passerby.

A dear friend might have called Sheila a disaster zone.  Lloyd wouldn’t, of course…likely because he had yet to register her face again.

“You like what you see, Lloyd?”  Jane asked.

That got him to jerk his head back up.  “Y-yes ma’am!” he said, offering Jane a quick salute.  “And I must say, excellent handiwork!  Excellent, indeed!”

“Well, I do what I can.  Though I had a little help.”

Sheila came a bit closer -- and at the sight of Lloyd, she let out a squeak.  “Ah-!  L-Lloyd!  What are you doing here?!”

“I was hoping that you and I could have a heart-to-heart.  Establish a common ground, have a little bonding time, and whatever other witty colloquialisms come to mind.”

“You’re…y-you’re really here for me?” she asked with a snort.  She stared at Lloyd with her mouth hanging open -- and then started trying to tug her pants off her overripe hind parts.  “Well, I just took a shower this morning, but if you really wanna go for it here…”  In spite of her struggling, she couldn’t get her pants off -- so she just settled for the next best thing and started lifting her shirt. 

Lloyd -- and the chair he sat in -- tipped over.

“What have I told you about stripping in the kitchen?!” Jane snapped.  “Especially when we have guests over!”

Sheila stopped, and slid her shirt back down.  “I wasn’t just stripping,” she grumbled.  “I wanted to do it with Lloyd.”

Just as he got to his feet, Lloyd tipped over.  A part of him wondered if he’d be able to stand up again.

“Oh, lord, not this crap again…”  Jane pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head.  “Really, Sheila?  Really?  You’re still going through with that?”

“What’s your problem?  I said I’d do it, and I’m gonna do it!”

“My problem is that you’re being an idiot!  When are you gonna cut it out and start using your head for once?”

Lloyd tugged himself upward, using the table for leverage.  “I…I seem to be missing a bit of the conversation here,” he sputtered.  “I don’t suppose either of you would mind…you know…explaining what exactly is going on?  I would very much like to know how my loins figure into this little venture.”

Jane glared at Sheila, who gave her just as fierce a look -- but at the sound of Lloyd’s voice, the mother turned her scowl into a taut smile.  “O-of course.  You seem like such a nice boy, after all.  My daughter here is lucky -- very, very, VERY lucky -- that you’d go so far for her.”

“We’d go even farther if you’d stop being such a…”  Sheila folded her arms and let the thought hang in the air, and ignored the daggers fired by her mother.  Nevertheless, she took a seat at the table, legs crossed and nose upturned.  Jane managed to return the favor; she turned her back on her daughter, with her smile towards Lloyd no doubt tearing the muscles in her face. 

Well.  This is not a good situation to be in, Lloyd thought, offering his own quivering smile.  I’d best work to diffuse this quickly, lest blood be spilled. Doubtless mine would be the first to fall.  He cleared his throat.  “So, Miss O’Leary --”

“Yes?” both Sheila and Jane asked.  And as soon as they did, they gave each other a cold stare.

“He was talking to me,” Sheila growled.  “He’s got no interest in an old hag like you.”

Lloyd raised a hand.  “Well, that’s not exactly --”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” Jane countered.  “Momma’s still got it goin’ on.  And besides, children need to learn their place -- no matter how mature they might THINK they are.”

Lloyd raised his other hand.  “That may be true, but --”

“For someone who’s so mature, you sure do like to cry,” said Sheila.  “You started bawling just because you found a lizard in your tub.”

Jane grimaced.  “I told you, it was poisonous!”

“A poison baby gecko?”

“Poison has to come from somewhere!”

“A little FOCUS here, ladies!” Lloyd shouted, drawing both their gazes toward him -- a nervous one from Sheila, and a pleasant one from Jane.  “Ahem!  I’d prefer not to shout at my hosts, but we do have more pressing matters to attend to.  Now, Miss O’Lea…”  He pointed at Sheila.  “Little…er…big Miss O’Leary.  I’m more than a little confused as to why I’m so vital to your plans.”

Sheila sucked some snot up her nose.  “I already told you, didn’t I?”

“Well, yes, that’s true.  But given the events that followed, I feel as if I don’t have all the clarification I need.”  He stroked his chin.  “There was some mention of fairies, for example, and --”

“Fairies?  HA!”  Jane shook her head and smirked.  “I can’t believe it…Lloyd, is that what she told you?”

“Eh?  Is that not the case?”

“Shame on you, Sheila -- using that old story to try and snag a man.”  She ignored the red-hot rage radiating from Sheila’s body.  “Lloyd, you wanna know the truth?  My idiot daughter lied to you.  She’s lying to herself, too.”

Lloyd’s eyebrows shot up.  “You’re certain?”

“How many fairies have you seen before, Lloyd?”

“Well, there have been a few Disney movies where -- oh wait, you mean real ones?  Er, none.”

“That’s what I thought.”  Jane shot a thumb toward Sheila’s body.  “That ‘fairy curse’ she told you about?  Just something her father made up a long time ago.  It’s not much more than a bedtime story.”

“It’s MORE than a story!  It’s REAL!” Sheila blared, teeth clenching their way into oblivion.

But once more, Jane ignored her.  “Lloyd.  You wanna know where that body of hers came from?”  She pointed to her chest.  “It sure wasn’t from me, or anyone from my side of the family.  Nope; she got hers from her father.  A good guy, without a doubt, but damned if he didn’t have the biggest set of man-boobs in the country.  Hopefully when he comes back from fat camp he’ll finally go down a cup size or six.”

Lloyd considered himself lucky that he hadn’t eaten -- because if he had, he might have made a mess of the O’Leary kitchen.  “So what you’re saying is --”

“There’s no curse.  It’s just heredity.  And a freak accident; a part of me was worried that I’d have to roll Sheila to and from school by this time, but I guess we’re lucky the fat’s been going to all the right places.”

“Hey!  I exercise, too!”  She pointed at Jane’s stomach.  “And that’s something you should probably start doing soon.  You’ve gone from muffin top to cake-in-a-bucket in the past week alone.”

“Cake-in-a-bucket…?” Lloyd asked.

Jane started to redden and grind her teeth.  “I’m a lot slimmer than you think I am.  Besides, I just have to exercise to stay lean and limber; you have to do it or else your back will snap in half.”

“In half…?” Lloyd asked.

“In HALF!” Jane shouted, though with no shortage of glee.  She leaned forward and stared at Lloyd with a mischievous glint, unfazed -- or rather delighting in -- Sheila’s curling fists.  “Care to know a secret, Lloyd?  This girl’s been going up a size every year since she was eight; a part of me’s just ITCHING to see the day she has to cart her boobs around in a shopping cart!”

“That’ll never happen!  NEVER!”  Sheila roared.  She turned her nose up at her, managing to match her delight.  “Besides, at least I’m not a chubby chaser like you -- though I’m starting to think that a heavyweight like Dad was the best you could ever hope to do.”

“What did you say? Ch-chubby chaser?!”

“Don’t try to hide it!  I’ve seen the websites!”

“Oh, so that’s how you wanna play it?  While we’re at it, why don’t we talk about how YOU’VE got a website just so you can show off your fat sacks?!”

Lloyd raised a hand.  “May I see the site?”

An ignored plea, of course.  Sheila and Jane rammed their palms into the table, knocking their chairs over and shoving their faces within a few inches of each other.  “I’m just making a little money,” said Sheila.  “Because the way you skimp, I’m lucky to see a penny!”

Jane flashed her fangs.  “I don’t think that a daughter with a nice house, food, and clothes is allowed to complain about me skimping!”

“Oh, yeah, sure, I know you’re saving up -- you’ve gotta pay for that nose job somehow!”

“Nose job?!  Well maybe I will -- ‘cause it sure as hell isn’t gonna be a breast reduction for you!”

“I’m fine with who I am!  Why can’t you be?!”

“Because you’re a constant failure and a disappointment, maybe?  What kind of girl gets expelled on the first day of school?  You’re lucky you’re not in a jail cell right now!”

“Well, you’re lucky you’re not in a courtroom!  You’re a shrieking, bullying, heartless bitch!”

Lloyd scooted his chair back. 

“Did you…did you just call your mother a bitch?”  Jane looked genuinely aghast at the thought…for about a nanosecond.  “YOU’RE the bitch!”

“You’re a pain in the ass!”

“You ARE an ass!”

Lloyd scooted back a bit further.

“Blubber-butt!”

“Monster boobs!”

“Wrinkled prune!”

“Snot-nosed mucus hydrant!”

“No-good dried-up housewife!”

“Yeah, well…you’re dumb!”

And against all reason, that was the insult that brought the name calling to an end.  But not for the reason Lloyd had hoped.

He pointed at Sheila from the kitchen corner.  “Did you just punch your mother in the face?”

She had indeed.  She had the curled fist to prove it -- and for bonus evidence, the reddened mark on Jane’s cheek.  For a solid minute it looked as if Jane’s brain had completely shut down; she just stood there, head tossed from her daughter’s attack.  But as soon as that minute came to an end, she snapped back to reality.  And she made her counter.

Lloyd pointed at Jane from the front foyer.  “Did you just punch your daughter in the face?”

She had indeed.  And not surprisingly, Sheila was the one that looked stunned.

But it didn’t last for long.  Because the next thing Lloyd knew, they leapt at each other and rolled across the floor, punching and kicking and screaming at each other.

And the cookies?  They didn’t stand a chance.

TO BE HEARTINUED…

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