Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We're the Cupcakes

Chapter One.
The Chapter Where I Introduce Myself and the Girls

“Lola, Lola” snap out of it!

Lola snapped her fingers, twice: Snap. Snap. But her lids didn’t close, her lashes didn’t flutter a millimeter. The dazed look on her face was stuck, frozen in time.

“Lola, figure of speech. Means come to life, come back to earth, look at me!” Tennessee, or Ten as she was known to friends and enemies alike, was trying desperately and actually rather loudly, to get Lola in the here and now. Unfortunately, Lola was in the Jessie, or rather, her mind was on the Jessie. On his taut, ever so slightly bulging biceps to be precise. Ten preferred them skinny. Lola preferred them anyway they were served up.

“Shhh Ten, geez you’re gonna wake McCabe,” said Vivi, who was the shy and careful one. Because when you put four girls together, any four girls, there will always, always be a shy and careful one. It’s the girl personality clause 101, section 2B as clearly and plainly stated by the South West Chapter of the National Association of Teen Novel Writers, Teen TV Writers, and Teen Movie Script Writers Guild and Brotherhood. I know this because I, Clea Hantman, writer of this here book, belong to such an organization. The dues are hefty, the penalities for not following the rules are steep. We have to keep the lodge up and looking presentable. But I digress.

May is the fourth girl in our quadrant. In our band, known as the Cup Cakes. She is good and sweet and often denser than the rest. It’s not that she’s dumb because she’s not at all dumb. But in these things you’ve got to have one that is slower than the rest and that is not part of any clause in the South West Chapter of the National Association of Teen Novel Writers, Teen TV Writers, and Teen Movie Script Writers Guild and Brotherhood’s Oath, it’s just a basic law of science, it is purely human nature. And genetics. You can’t rule out genetics. You can’t possibly think you can put four girls in a room and expect them to be all exactly the same amount of smart. It would be scientifically impossible. I’ve tested it. Now if you’re wondering where May is in this little scenario, she’s asleep. Did I mention she’s often very sleepy?

Ten did not want to wake McCabe anymore than Vivi and so she tried shaking Lola. When that didn’t work she gave her a Stooges shove to the head.

Lola had snuck out of their band beach pad, walked three blocks northeast to Paco’s Pizza Parlor and asked to see the delivery boy. She had to wait ten minutes for he was out on a delivery (Extra large mushroom and pineapple to the Zucker’s house on Beecham). When he returned she blatantly stared him up and down, liked what she saw (who had doubts that she would?) and proceeded out the door of Paco’s Pizza Parlor and down the street. She walked one and half blocks south, crossed the street at the corner and called Paco’s from the payphone. She ordered a small cheese, light on the cheese, light on the sauce, and asked them to deliver it to the beach house. Everyone in all of Sunnydale knows where the beach house is. (Yes, that’s a blatant attempt to woo you Buffy fans only this Sunnydale has sand, and surf and heretofore no Vampires, but anything is possible when you want people to read your book) And then she ran home to meet pizza delivery boy at the door. Ten was aware of this whole thing before it got out of hand. Why didn’t she stop it?

“I was practicing my spy skills,” she pleaded.

“Oh Ten not this again,” said Vivi.

“We need practice, we’re getting rusty. It’s been at least three weeks since our last mystery. It’s true I did follow her out the house and watched her go to Paco’s and watched her wait a whole ten minutes and watched her walk down the street and cross at the corner and I suppose at any moment, I could have yelled out ‘Lola’ or flicked her on the shoulder, but I didn’t. I was too busy trying to tail her without anyone noticing.” And then smitten with her self, she added, “Apparently, I was quite successful.”

“I knew you were behind me the whole time.” Lola had snapped out of her dangerous boy coma to announce this disheartening fact.

“Hey great, now that you’re back to the living, clean him up and get him—and the pizza—out of here.” And then Ten added a maternal, firm, but quiet, “Now.”

See, the Paco’s Pizza delivery boy in question is named Jessie. He’s new in town and Lola had a to get a good look at him. Once she did, t’was all over. Lola has a serious medical condition, it’s called Acute Lusteriositis. She loves to kiss, make out, smooch, snog, and buss boys.

Busboys? Why busboys in particular?

Not busboys, buss boys. Two words, meaning to kiss those of the male persuasion.

She needs them like a snot-nose, ear infected kid needs penicillin. She needs to kiss. It’s not the worst affliction that could overtake a young woman. It’s relatively innocent and never goes past the kissy-kiss base. Thing of it is, she’s frantic, obsessed, manic about it. She kisses with a fury. She kisses with a power that’s like a rubber band that’s been stretched back tight and let go into mid air. And she kisses a lot. That’s the disease part really. And McCabe, well, McCabe might pack her on up and out of here if she catches her at it again. McCabe doesn’t like us getting sidetracked from the real goals at hand, which are:

a) Become a huge mega selling POP SENSATION that woos the whole wide world, bringing all cultures together and ultimately leading the world in a cathartic crescendo of song and,

b) Fight crime

You may be thinking right about now, “those are lofty goals,” and you’d be right. But see, these are not ordinary girls. Well, yes they are, they are ordinary inasmuch as they are like you or I. Only they have harnessed their inspiration and imagination and focused it on obtaining their dreams. Course, Lola hasn’t totally gotten the focus thing down just yet.

After the phone call and upon her return to the band’s beach house, but before Jessie’s arrival, Lola applied her favorite gloss, a gooey concoction of lustrous lip enamel and a rare rosy hue that shines and sparkles in the night. A local teenage inventor by the name of Ben Sunnburner created the formula just for her last year after she went through her geek-love phase. Lola can’t get enough of the stuff but unfortunately it leaves a slick wash behind and poor Jessie was a sparkling oily pink mess after Lola got through with him. But he smelled lovely, just like peach pie on a warm day in Summer.

Jessie himself was dazed and confused and not moving. It was as if her kisses had stunned him like her lips were one of those buzz guns that policemen use when they’re doing crowd control at a stadium and while he wasn’t of bodybuilder proportions, he was impossible for Vivi and Ten to move on their own. Upon examining him, Ten wondered aloud if Lola’s disease had gotten worse, that perhaps it had morphed into a more violent strain that caused the kissee to enter into some sort of real life coma. But a minute or two later is when Lola snapped out of it. Snap, snap. And then she was able to wake him from his trance with a good old fashion push. Did she have a magic touch? We just don’t know for sure. What we do know is that Jessie, and the pizza, left the beach house before McCabe knew anything of this sort had happened. But that didn’t make Vivi and Ten any less angry.

“Look, you’ve got to control yourself, this boy crazy thing is—“

“I have a bona fide disease. Dr. Hertzaton said so,” pleaded Lola, her lips all a pout. But still way pretty.

“Fine. Take some medicine, get a shot, gargle with salt water, but fix it.”

“He was dreamy wasn’t he? I mean, he was like a hot air balloon, all steamy and sky high.”

“Lola, please. If McCabe had woken up and found him here you’d be cinnamon toast baby and frankly we need you. You’re the best singer I’ve ever heard and with you at center stage, we’re sure to take over Sunnydale and then… take over the world.” Hearing herself Ten added, “You know, in a good way.”

“Plus,” said Vivi, “we love you.”

“More than gummy bears,” said Ten.

“More than gummy bears,” the three repeated in unison. And then they sang, quietly, their potential future number one pop hit, “More Than Gummy Bears.” All that was missing was May’s slamming backbeat.