When I returned home, Bill answered the door to find me…
…soaking wet, bruised, and covered in glitter.
It started when Lolly came home one afternoon six weeks ago. Dennis was sleeping since he worked nights. Shark was out with Chase. Marigold had a doctor’s appointment to go to and forced Silver to take her, and Max was up the coast negotiating on behalf of the criminal organization.
Lolly ran into the house calling, “Mom? Dad? Grandma?”
I answered. I was the only one home. I had taken the day off work due to my excruciating back pain. A day at home gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up on my back-logged reports, if only I wasn’t popping pain pills every few hours and forced to sit in odd positions. Pregnancy had its perks, but this was not one of them.
Lolly proceeded to tell me, barely pausing to take a breath, how she had been the only sophomore asked to help out with the senior prom committee. Of course, this was a great honor, and it was especially wonderful because she could work with her crush, senior class president, Lincoln Baker. I decided to get out a notepad and helped her make a list of all of her ideas for prom, plus we ordered a pizza and brainstormed a little about how to get Lincoln to notice her.
Silver came home outraged that Lolly had planned with me instead of her. She threw a temper tantrum in the dining room and knocked over a chair and tore up the paper with our notes. Lolly was upset and stormed off to her room, slamming her door for effect. Silver told me to butt out of her daughter’s life, or there would be blood. I was surprised, especially since this was the first time Lolly and I had really hung out. Silver was jealous, but her behavior was beyond me.
The next morning, I screeched when I turned on the water. Silver had put fruit punch powder in my shower head. I didn’t think she had it in her. I guess she really did mean it when she said there would be blood… at least of the fruity variety. Marigold let me clean off in her bathtub but I was late to work.
Thus began our two weeks of pranking. It started harmlessly like when I put yellow food coloring in her toothpaste. Silver freaked out about her less-than-pearly-whites. She put laxatives in my coffee creamer. Needless to say, I had trouble staying seated at my 10 AM meetings for a week until I figured it out. I reprogrammed her TV to tape hours of Sim-Span instead of her usual soap operas and fashion shows.
She escalated when she threw my classic philosopher books in the swimming pool. I had enough of her childish antics, but I had to retaliate for that. I dumped a few of her favorite shoes in the toilet.
She escalated again when she sent a bouquet of flowers to my department, wrote “To Julienne… we should connect over old times,” and signed Bill’s name… this one Bill took offense to since he’d been home making things up to me, and he said he would retaliate in kind.
He sent a porn magazine subscription to her office and signed the card “Warm regards.”
Lolly was disgusted by her mother’s behavior, however, she ironically seemed to condone mine, or at least ignore it. When it came time for prom, Lolly had been asked out by senior Lincoln Baker. Dennis agreed to let her go if Silver chaperoned the dance. What he didn’t know was that Lolly had already asked me. Dennis made her promise to play nice.
The night of the dance arrived. Lolly looked so pretty in her signature red color – I had taken her shopping at the mall and she had picked out a black gown with red roses. Lincoln brought her a rose wristlet and wore a boutonniere of his own. Dennis snapped a few pictures. Max spoke a few stern warnings to Lincoln. Marigold talked about bugs… the old bat. Silver made an entrance of her own in a floorlength gown with silver sparkles and a neckline so low it could rival the Palm Canyon. Bill had been drunk most of the day so he was snoring face down on the couch with some inane cartoon playing in the background. Shark, who wanted nothing to do with prom, shouted a “good luck” to Lolly over the banister and he and Chase settled in upstairs to cuddle, watch a movie, and probably make out a little.
The evening began lightly. Silver and I stayed on opposite sides of the room. As I was in my third trimester, I had to take it easy, so I welcomed guests to the prom and took tickets and money. Silver had hired the photographer and spent half of her time barking orders at him and the kids posing and half the time posing herself.
Halfway through the evening, Dennis arrived, dressed in a tux and with a bouquet of flowers for his wife. He lingered at the entrance table for a few minutes and chatted with me. Silver came over with a glass of prom punch and asked to call a truce. I was skeptical, but she said it was pointless to continue given we were grown women and I was “popping a muffin out of my oven” soon. I took two sips of punch and then made a horrified face.
The punch was spiked with vodka.
“You bitch!” I screeched, spitting out the liquid.
“Excuse me?” Silver tried to play all dumb.
“I’m pregnant!” I howled in disbelief.
Dennis grabbed the cup from my hands and sniffed the drink. “Silver! What were you thinking? Do you know how dangerous it is for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol?”
Silver laughed lightly and fluffed her hair. “It’s prom!” she waved her arms around at the horde of teenagers staring in our direction. “One of them probably did it.”
“I don’t think so, Mom,” Lolly approached from the right with her date in tow. “I saw you pull out a flask from your dress.”
“Is there a problem here?” the school principal joined our little circle.
Dennis grabbed his wife’s arm roughly. “Is that true?”
Silver rolled her eyes and pulled the “container in question” from beneath one of her straps. “So what? She’s the real bitch.” She sent eye daggers in my direction. “Making nice with my children and flirting with my husband. You encourage it, Dennis! You even brought her roses.”
Dennis blanched. “Silver, I brought the flowers for you.”
“You think I don’t see her making eyes at you, Dennis?” Silver hissed. “If I wasn’t in the picture, she’d make her move for sure. I was just ensuring she wouldn’t ever have a chance to.”
I don’t know quite what came over me. The next thing I knew I was wrestling Silver to the ground. In spite of my pregnant belly, I somehow got the upper hand. Silver screeched and yanked on my hair. Dennis attempted to break us up and Silver elbowed him hard in the jaw. Lolly pulled the fire alarm and the sprinkler system engaged. Teenagers flooded from the building. The police were called. When they arrived, they found Silver and I rolling around on the floor, soaking wet, and covered with glitter from the decor we had knocked over during our little “fight to the death” match.
We were taken down the station. Dennis called Shark and asked him to come pick up his distressed sister. Then he spent a good hour trying to convince the station chief to send me to the hospital. They compromised with allowing a doctor to check me out on site. Dennis paid my bail. When I asked him about Silver, he said, “One night in jail won’t kill her.” He spent the entire ride home trying to convince me not to press charges against his wife.
“Silver is seriously disturbed to say the least, but she’s family.”
“She’s not my family. Dennis, she tried to poison me.”
“With alcohol. It was a cruel prank.”
“A dangerous one.”
“I’ll deal with Silver in my own way. I don’t blame you for being angry. No, I don’t blame you for being furious, but please let me handle my wife.”
Something about the way he said “my wife” made me shut up and comply. He was angry too, but not in the same hotheaded way I had reacted back at the high school. This was a cold anger. An icy anger. The scary kind.
I sighed as I walked up the steps of the Racket manor, wondering how on earth I got myself involved with this family in the first place. Bill met us at the door.
Oh yeah! Bill!
Apparently, the alcohol had worn off and he looked more hungover than anything else. He looked tired, his beard smooshed to one side and his hair a bit wild. He was wearing pajama bottoms and his robe hung open, revealing his overly hairy chest. His eyes widened.
“Don’t ask,” I pushed past him, dragging myself upstairs.
I heard Dennis and Bill talking as they closed the front door. Normally, I’d be curious. Now I didn’t care. I just wanted to shower and wash away the craziness of the day.
This chapter was based on a writing prompt found here.
- Sim-Span is my Simworld version of C-Span.
- Palm Canyon is located in Lucky Palms, Simvada in my Simworld and is the equivalent of the Grand Canyon.
- Inner Banks is a play on the Outer Banks in the Carolinas.
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