Chapter 2

Written by: danaesidh
When Gerard got to his vision of hippos and ostriches in tutus I put my foot down. Hard, on his big toe. For a moment I have his attention. "This must not happen, any of it." 
Corey and Beatrice are attentive. "Keep your phones face down on the table!" 
More than once footage of me setting Gerard straight has gone viral. Social media treats our animated discussions as a timetabled podcast. My reaction to Gerard's first ring has become a three-second loop on some girl rapper's home page.
"Let me take this slowly Gerard. I like you, I like most of your batshit impulses, I can even see the possibility of a future for us that lasts beyond the end of next week... but I will not have my engagement funded by the recreation of Walt Disney's Fantasia, is that clear?"
"So no hippos or ostriches then? Ok, we'll replace them with bison and emus, the tutus will still fit..." His mouth stops moving. My colour may have changed.
"You already have tutus in the right size?"
"Well, not yet, they're nearly ready..."
Corey and Beatrice have moved to the kitchen; their phones are with them. Bugger! Torn between setting Gerard straight in a public fashion or psycho flatmate grabbing phones.
The doorbell rings.
Who would drop by this early on a Sunday morning? Who would drop by and not come in by the kitchen door? Someone "official", not anyone we hang with. Someone who is trouble.
I think we all know this, which is why nobody in the house speaks or moves until the doorbell rings again.
My house, my lookout. I walk the hallway, Corey and Beatrice not far behind. The doorbell rings again.
A pause, a deep breath, open.
There she is, a vision of pastels, dressed for church, complete with hat, gloves and nice sensible shoes. "Mrs Whitman, how are you this morning? How can I help?" Am I laying it on too thick?
"Good morning Molly dear," replies the virtuous pastels, "I've just returned from early service, and I notice that all the flowers along our fence have been eaten by something. On your side, everything is churned up as if there has been a bit of a fight. Has your Gerard done something silly again?"
Nothing wrong with her mind this morning, and she won't have had coffee yet, not before church. I like her, even though she appears different.
Mrs Whitman, Mrs Whitman, a flash of understanding. Mrs Whitman is the perfect ally. "Come in Mrs Whitman; I think you and Gerard should talk; I'll just put the kettle on." We have lived next door for six months now; I finally understand that she is much shrewder than I give her credit for. She crosses our threshold and follows me down the hall.
As we enter the kitchen, the ceiling gives an ominous groan. Everyone looks up, the ceiling is bulging. Then it begins to rain penguins.


What a hoot! I liked the tongue in cheek and the description of Mrs Whitman as all pastels was great. Oh, and raining penguins. That was hilarious.