I really am sorry for the hiatus I've been in. I'm forcing myself out of my slump, so you should be expecting more updates from me in the future. But for now, here's the last chapter of Shenanigans. I hope you all enjoy.
Chapter 6-The Curtain Closes
For once, the Shenanigans performance was not held in the Ballroom. An ice cream parlor had been opened down in the town, and, to attract customers, the owners had found live entertainment during the week of their opening. Shenanigans had been scheduled for that Wednesday.
The ice cream parlor, Alexander's, seemed to be out of an old movie. The way the place was furnished and the antiques set up around the store from years past that were barely seen anymore gave the store an old fashioned feel to it. Sam was enjoying the atmosphere of the place and the people here were very nice. It was owned and run by a family who had a daughter that went up to the college. There was even a small screen on one of the walls where old movies were played. At the moment, though, that had been turned off for the Shenanigans performance happening right then.
"Once last announcement I have before we start is that our Shenanigans' member Keith Morgan is transferring to another college. This will be his last performance with us."
There were many shouts of surprise and indignation. Loudest of all of them was Brandon's. "And he's a stinking traitor for it!"
"Why?" The question came from someone is the audience.
"Yes, Keith, tell them why." Bethany's voice was laced with false innocence.
"Oh, you know….Ferrell is great, but I felt that I would benefit more on an educational perspective by searching out what others-"
"The traitor's going away to find a girl," Danny deadpanned.
Professor Bouchelle waited for the laughter to die down then started again. "Yes, well, we're dedicating this performance to Keith since it is his last. On that note, we'd like to get started. Our first game will be Props. And for Props we'll have Brandon and Danny and Bethany and Keith." Professor Bouchelle stepped off the stage and Sheila ran up to give them their props.
Bethany and Keith were given some lace which had wire running through it, shaping it into a cone with a device at the top that let the cone expand and contract.
Danny and Brandon were only given two boards. They glanced at each other when Professor Bouchelle motioned them to start. Each held one board awkwardly in their hands and finally Danny spoke, raising the board in his hands up a little higher as he spoke to Brandon. "I don't see how we're going to make a band with this kind of equipment."
There were quite a few laughs and several people who were in line for ice cream craned their necks around to see what was going on. There were a few laughs as Bethany and Keith used their prop to play badminton with their hands.
It went back to Danny and Brandon. Brandon held up the two boards, now arranged in a right triangle. "Now let's try this again. This is a right angle."
Danny stared at it. "I still don't get it."
"Yeah, it's not funny either."
This brought on laughter which grew when the audience looked over to the other two. Bethany and Keith are crouched down close together holding up the cone as if it's raining, when the small prop wouldn't have kept them dry at all. Sam shook her head. Even with the poor props, they were trying, at least. She looked back over to Danny and Brandon.
The two boys had laid the two boards down on the ground in a line. Danny turned to Brandon. "Well, when he said he was bored stiff, I didn't know he meant literally."
There were a few chuckles, but it was obvious the boys had exhausted all the creative wit they could for their small excise for a prop. Attention went back to Bethany and Keith.
Bethany was hunched down low as if pretending not to be there. Her hand was raised with the prop and she was waving it around as she moved across her half of the stage like a child would with a toy airplane. Keith was off to the side, making noises that the aforementioned child would make while playing with his toy. Finally, as Bethany circled around to cross the stage again, Keith exclaimed, "The best science-fiction movie ever!"
That got loud laughs from everyone who turned to applause as Professor Bouchelle took pity on them and let them sit down.
"Our next game is called Slideshow. Brandon will be a story out of the poses that Sheila, Bethany and Danny will be making. Keith will turn off the light…if that's okay…."
One of the owner's of Alexander's that was working behind the register gave a nod and he continued. "Will turn off and on the lights and Brandon will describe what is happening with the poses the three will come up with. All we need is a location for somewhere people go for vacation." Several places were shouted out from the audience. "Las Vegas. Ready, guys?" Keith and Brandon gave a nod from their respective places standing in the middle of the crowd and next to the light switch. Professor Bouchelle stepped off the stage, leaving the other three on, and the lights went out.
There was scuffling on the stage in the darkness. When the lights went back on, a few chuckles were heard, but most everyone turned to Brandon who was still standing in the audience to see what he would say.
"I'm so happy that all of you could join me tonight to go over a few choice clips of my vacations. I've dearly enjoyed the last twelve hours together." This brought on quite a few chuckles. "Here, you'll see my vacation last summer at Las Vegas. There, you'll see me looking for a hotel." He pointed to Danny, who was standing in the middle of the two girls, a hand was held over his eyes as a visor against the sun.
"My wife is on my left." This was directed at Bethany, who was hunched down in an old woman's posture by Danny's knee. "She was about fifty years my senior. We had a very…odd relationship."
"Finally, he pointed to Sheila. She stood more to the front of the stage. Her arms were locked at the elbow and went upward, her hands splayed near her neck to frame her smiling face. "And there you see Mr. Wayne Newton, ready to belt out a wonderful song for his audiences. His singing was one of the main reasons I went to Las Vegas."
The lights went off to Brandon's signal. The next time they went on, the restaurant was deafened for a moment in laughter. Danny was now next to Sheila, holding her face in a gesture that he was going to kiss her. Sheila's eyes were wide and her arms were flung out in obvious surprise. Bethany was in the back, looking around conspiratorially with her hands as guns.
"I decided on wanted my picture in the paper. And it was! I snuck backstage after one of Mr. Newton's performances. I snuck past Mr. Newton's bodyguard, who you see in the background, and approached Mr. Newton when I knew the right attention would be on us."
There was about three seconds between the time the lights went on and off. Danny was leaning back in fear and Sheila had a hold of his shirt, her other arm drawn back as if to punch him. Bethany was in the middle of angrily flinging herself at Danny. "Wayne Newton wasn't happy with that picture it seemed. In fact, instead of sending his skilled bodyguard after me, he pursued me out of the building when I fled. Which brings me to the next slide." The lights went out.
The next time the next time light flooded the room; Danny and Bethany were on all fours around Sheila whose pose was very statue-esque. Bethany's head was lowered towards the stage while Danny's was raised with a curious expression.
"I decided I wanted to be a frog. You see, I'd jumped into one of the many fancy fountains Las Vegas has to escape Mr. Newton and his bodyguard. The water was very nice, much nicer than the five-star hotel room I had. I was soon joined by a nice young man who had jumped in to take some of the coins at the bottom. Who knew that Jumping inside the fountain was illegal, though? They should really put signs up or something."
Off and on the lights went and Danny was now seen on his back, desperately grabbing onto Sheila's shirt that was leaning over him. Bethany was down where his feet should be. Said feet were locked at the ankles and placed over one of Bethany's shoulders. Bethany was grasping onto Sheila's feet in panic.
"Unfortunately, Wayne Newton and his bodyguard got wind of my arrest and took action. I was knocked out, tied up with chains, beaten and then had cement blocks strapped to my feet. I think they were going to drown me. But I decided that if I was going down then I was taking Wayne Newton with me! His body guard was so worried about Mr. Newton's safety that I was able to slip out of my bonds and get away. With that, I'd decided I'd had enough excitement for one vacation and headed to the airport."
The restaurant was blanketed in darkness again and the next time the lights went on, Danny sat in the middle of the stage meditating. Bethany and Sheila were to the side. Bethany stood directly behind Sheila and each girl had their arms out wide to suggest they were airplanes. The girls' arms were out diagonally, one going one way and the other going the other direction to make a cross.
"After abandoning my wife at one of Las Vegas' many casinos, I headed to the airport. Of course, I could have taken a regular airplane, but there were so many choices I could have chosen. I sat down to meditate on it. Finally, after much deliberation, I had to go with the plane from Star Wars. Hopefully while going home I wouldn't encounter any enemy fire. And that was my vacation in Las Vegas. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming to my lovely home."
The lights went on as loud cheering filled the room. All five Shenanigans made their way to a seat on the benches laid out for them at the back of the stage while Professor Bouchelle went to introduce the next game.
"Our next game will be Cards. This will be played by Keith and Danny. They will have slips of paper in their pockets which they must use during the skit. We need a situation, though."
Several things were shouted out, but a shout from the back caught others' attention and soon most of the room was shouting it to Keith's chagrin. Professor Bouchelle smiled. "College Orientation, it is," he said, before stepping off.
Danny immediately started, going up to Keith with an outstretched arm. "Hi. I'm Keith Morgan. I'm a transfer student here."
Keith shook his hand eagerly. "Hello, Keith. I'm Stan, your orientation leader. I'll be showing you all the ins and outs of the campus."
"Really? That's great! I've been looking really forward to coming here."
"Well, we're happy to have you. And as your orientation leader, I think I need to tell you first that 'the pizza boys are hot.'"
"Oh…well, thank you."
"No problem. Where did you transfer from, Keith?"
"Ferrell University. I didn't really fit in there. I was a loser. People would go around pointing fingers and saying 'Foolish child, you are weird!'" Sam watched Danny's face seize up. He was trying so hard not to laugh.
"Oh, so you came from FU. Keith emphasized the acronym and several chuckles rang out. It's a nice place, I suppose."
"Yeah, I guess. I'm going to be truthful. I came here to find myself a girlfriend. I could never get one back at my old college. I don't think I'll have that much luck here either, though."
"No, no, no! I'm sure you'll find someone. In fact, when you past by that group of girls over there, I heard one of them whisper 'Whatever you do, don't touch that,'"
"They said that?"
"Yeah, but I wouldn't get down about it. There are plenty of other girls here."
"I guess. Hey, can I tell you something in secret?"
"Sure, you can!"
"Okay. I'm telling you this because I hope we can be friends." Danny reached in and brought out another slip of paper and Sam watched his face blank. "'Danny Fenton is so hot!'"
"That's nice to know. I don't really know him, though, so he can't be that important. But now I'd like to tell you something as a friend." Keith looked down at the slip of paper he had taken out and everyone watched him give it the evil eye. He finally choked out. "'You're the only girl for me.'"
"Oh, well, the only thing I can think to say to that would be…'I'm going to break you like a window!'"
"No, calm down. I still have to help you. It's my job. Let's see…you'll go over to the building west of here to see your faculty advisor. You're going to walk in, and the first thing he'll tell you is 'I was a chipmunk in my past life!'"
"Thanks. Anything else I need to do?"
"Well, after visiting your faculty advisor, you'll go all the way to the other end of campus to listen to an hour long talk. Then, you come all the way back here to fill out three hours worth of paperwork. Finally, you'll go to your resident assistant and he'll help you get settled in for about five more hours."
"Wow. Wouldn't it be better for me to fill out the paperwork first?"
"Nah, that's too easy on you. I have to go help other bright youthful freshman, but I'll be seeing you around."
"All right. Thank you, Stan!"
"You're welcome. I was happy to do it, Keith. You look like a fine young man."
The room erupted in laughter and applause as the two boys headed back to sit down and the professor stepped back up. "That was certainly interesting. I don't think we'll have Danny write the papers anymore."
Professor Bouchelle looked back at the five. "Then I don't think I want to know who wrote them."
"Our last game for the night is called Party Quirks. We'll have Keith step out of the room and then give the others a quirk that he must guess when he comes back. Any questions?"
There were none and Keith was sent out of the ice cream parlor. Professor Bouchelle spoke up again. "I know we usually would have you all give us the quirks. But tonight we have these envelopes with specific quirks for our four Shenanigans. First, Bethany." The room quieted down as Bethany stepped forward. "You are a mail-order wife." She took the card as snickers flitted around the room, and Danny stepped forward at his name. "You are a….a medieval knight searching for his princess." Danny rolled his eyes as he took the card, Sheila taking his place. "Sheila is deathly afraid of the color red." This brought out laughter as the red-head sat down. "And Brandon becomes the Shenanigan that he touches. Now we just need Keith to come back."
Keith was retrieved from outside and the others jumped off the stage. Keith was given the go ahead and he started.
"Okay. I have drinks, food, music, and even a movie if I get desperate. Oh, I hope they come! I mean, there's got to be-" He was interrupted by a small knock on the stage and ran over, opening up an imagined door. "Hi! I'm glad you could…come?"
Sheila came in with her body in a continuous crouch, her eyes glancing around furtively. "Y-yeah, me, too. Thanks for inviting me."
"Your welcome. Look, there's some punch if you want something to drink." Keith turned around to indicate where it would be and the design on the back of his shirt was revealed, which just happened to have some red in it.
Sheila gave out an ear-piercing shriek and Keith turned around quickly, watching as Sheila, the red having disappeared, calmed down. "N-nothing. I'm f-fine."
Keith looked on in confusion. "…Okay…... Like I said, there's punch over there."
Sheila turned sharply to stare at him. "What flavor?"
"Um….strawberry? Yes, strawberry."
"Strawberry," Sheila murmured under her breath then nodded. "Strawberry's good."
Keith opened his mouth to say something as Sheila moved towards the other end of the stage, but was interrupted by a knock, opening the door for Danny. "Hello."
"Back foul demon to the infernal Hell which thou camest from!"
Keith back away as Danny jumped up onto the stage, looking around also. It's nice to meet you, too," Keith said hesitantly. "You the exorcist I called for?"
Danny addressed him again. "Nay, I am not this priest of whom you speak, but if he shall come between me and my quest then I shall vanquish for thee. You would do well to remember that also." Then Danny strode away, leaving Keith as he turned to let Bethany in…who was wearing a red shirt.
Sheila screamed, throwing herself behind one of the benches.
"Princess!" Danny sprang forward, his shoulders slumping as she peaked over the bench. "Oh, excuse me, fair damsel. Please, tell me what ails you. Is it the demon that resides here?" Sheila pointed a shaking finger at Bethany.
Keith turned back from the conversation, addressing Bethany. "Sorry about that."
"It's all right." Bethany's voice came out timid as she smiled at him. "I know I'm not that much to look at. But I have to tell you now that you can't send back for a refund."
"No, no, no," Keith said genially. "I'm glad you came. Just go on and get to know people. Eat some of the snacks."
"Thank you." Bethany walked across the stage, Sheila moving away from her. Keith strode over.
"You know, she won't hurt you.'
"B-b-but, she's…I can't…."
Keith's attention was directed away as Brandon knocked on the stage. He walked over, opening the door for him.
Brandon stepped up, placing a hand on Keith's shoulder. Immediately, his whole demeanor changed, and he started imitating Keith's motions, dancing anxiously in place in the same rhythm as Keith.
"Glad you could come," Keith cordially said, blinking at Brandon's strange behavior. "I have snacks, music, there's even a-"
"Yeah, thanks for inviting me. This'll be my last party before I go and transfer. Hey, look! Food!" Brandon turned and made a bee-line for where Bethany was standing, pretending to daintily sip a drink of some sort. As soon as he took her arm, he stood up straighter, putting on the impression of being tall. His voice, now high and effeminate. "These shoes don't make me look too tall, do they?"
"No, they're fine," she replied sweetly. "And they match your outfit so well!"
Keith peered at Brandon in confusion. "Are you Bethany?"
Brandon latched on to him, letting go of Bethany. "Hey, you got anything by Michael Jackson? I just love him!"
"Are you me?"
Sheila's shriek jerked attention to her. Bethany had walked over, intending to say something to her, or perhaps sit down next to her on the bench, but Sheila shrieked again and flung herself further down the bench, where Danny happened to be sitting. Danny ducked, and Sheila rolled across his back, landing upright on the bench next to them. They stared at each other in wonderment before Sheila shrieked again and took off across the stage, Bethany following her, expressing concern.
"Hey, don't leave!" Keith called out desperately. "I'm sure you two can work something out!" Keith than turned, addressing Danny who had stood up and walked over.
"Where is she," Danny barked.
"Deceiver! I knowest that thou have her and you will let her go or you shall feel my blade!"
"Look, I can't help you without more information. Who are you looking for?"
Brandon, still hanging around near Keith had now grabbed onto Danny.
"You know what's even more frustrating? I've loved this girl since forever, and yet I can't tell her how I feel and I see her almost everyday. How pathetic am I?"
Keith, getting frustrated by this time, took the hint and exclaimed, "I know who you are! You're Danny Fenton!"
And, in the crowd, Sam turned towards Tucker. "How do they know about Paulina?" And, since she was facing Tucker, she missed Michelle's gesture signifying that the hint had gone completely over her head.
Danny, now turning very red, broke from Brandon's grasp before he could be embarrassed anymore. 'Princess! Princess, where are you?" he yelled, and then leaped off the stage to run around frantically through the audience.
Sam stared after him as he wound his way through the chairs, tables and people sitting on the floor. At one point, Danny looked over at her and their eyes connected. San's breath caught in her throat and Danny paused, staring. But then he reminded himself of reality and began running again, calling out for his princess.
On stage, Bethany had approached Keith. "You should know that I don't, cook, do dishes, laundry, dust, or use the vacuum."
"Then……….what are you here for?"
"You should know, darling. You sent out for me."
"………You're not a prostitute, are you?"
Bethany gasped and slapped him across the face. "How dare you! Just because you paid for me, doesn't give you the right to question my integrity. What example does that set for our children!
"Children!" Keith blurted.
"Well, our future children. Why else would you order for me if you didn't want to start a family?"
"Well, you can go back to whatever company you came from and tell them that I will never be ordering another wife through the mail again." Applause rang out as the two both smiled and Bethany stepped off the stage. However, the applause was quickly overshadowed by laughter. Danny had decided to go for the comic choice. He now stood on the stage, carrying Professor Bouchelle bridal style with some difficulty.
"Oh, princess, I found you!" Danny set him sown and then overdramatically flung his arms around the professor.
"All right, Prince Charming," Keith started and then looked to Professor Bouchelle to see if he was correct, who only shook his head. "…..is not here, so you might want to give him back his princess. Believe me, you don't want her."
"She is my princess, you dastard. I have searched far for her. And if you wish to challenge me for her than I swear upon the King's name that you shall lose!"
"Well, how can I argue with such a dedicated knight?" More applause and Danny stepped off the stage to join Bethany. Keith then turned around to face Brandon and Sheila, who was cowering behind Brandon.
"So…….are you a schizophrenic?"
Brandon's voice was once again effeminate. "Schizo? Look, I might be a lot of strange and unusual things, but I'm still sane……a little."
"You, um, mimic different people?"
When Professor Bouchelle once again shook his head, a cry of, "Switch!" rang came from the audience and soon others were repeating it. Brandon put his hand back on Keith's shoulder and once again mimicked Keith's facial expression and excitable movements.
"So when are we going to get some Michael Jackson playing in here?"
Finally, Keith seemed to catch the hints. "You're…..all four of you?"
Professor Bouchelle cut in. "When he does what?"
Brandon squeezed Keith's shoulder. "When he touches us?"
There were cheers and applause and Brandon was finally allowed to leave the stage. Keith waited for it to cease before finally addressing Sheila, who was still in her hunched and fearful position.
"You know, if you're cold, I can turn up the heater."
"N-no. I'm f-fine. It's finally gone. I'm safe."
"Safe from what?"
"It…." Sheila's hair feel into her eyes and she shrieked, ducking low behind Keith's legs. "There it is again!"
"What! I didn't see anything." Keith turned around and Sheila gave another shriek as she spotted the back of his shirt. Keith turned to stare and she immediately calmed down back to the whimpering, pitiful girl. "…….What?"
Sheila pointed shakily at him. "It-it's on you…."
"It is?" Keith turned around in a circle confused, giving the girl another fright when his back again came into her view. "What's wrong?"
"I told you, it's on you!" Sheila began rocking back and forth. "It was on the lady, too, and she wouldn't leave me alone. It never leaves me alone.…" Rocking forward, Sheila's hair fell into her eyesight again and she panicked once again, looking around in terror, her hair having flipped back to the side of her face and Sheila self-consciously tucked it behind an ear.
Keith watched this with growing suspicion, beginning to smile. "You're not, by any chance, afraid of the color red?"
Sheila perked up cheerfully and stood up, stepping off to join the other four then getting back on with the others as the applause resounded through the walls of the ice cream parlor. Professor Bouchelle was back in the middle of stage, calling over the noise. "I want to thank you for coming out to our last show and another thank you to Alexander's for having us! You've all been a great audience. Goodnight."
People began heading for the door or going up to congratulate the five. Danny hopped down from the stage and headed for Sam, Tucker and Michelle as they tried to make there way through the crowd.
"That was freaking awesome, man!" Tucker blurted out as soon as they reached each other.
"Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it."
"Enjoyed it," Michelle piped up. "You were amazing! All five of you were. I could never do something like that."
Danny was close to blushing. "Thanks again." He turned towards Sam who had been silent so far. "How did you like the performance, Sam?"
She sent him a large smile. "It was very entertaining to say the least. You five are a great team. I didn't know you had all that wit in you."
Now Danny really was blushing. "Thank you. I'm really not that great." He dug in his pockets, looking for a distraction, knowing how hot his face felt. "I'll drive you all back."
Sam frowned. "But it's such a nice night. We walked down earlier, we can walk back."
"Are you joking," Tucker protested. "It's late. It's probably freezing out there."
"Are you sure you want to walk back, Sam?" Danny asked.
"You know," Michelle said. "Danny just can't leave his car here overnight. Someone will have to take it up." Michelle glanced encouragingly at Tucker and his face brightened.
"Yeah! I'll just drive your car up, Danny. Don't worry, I've driven it before."
"Hey, wait-" Danny's keys were taken from his hand before he could say anything else and Michelle and Tucker were already crossing the restaurant. Danny Turned and look over at Sam. "So…...how far of a walk are we talking about?"
The front door to Danny's on-campus house opened and Sam's laughter could once again be heard as the two stepped inside. "She really did that?"
"Yep," Danny assured. "Sheila said that on her way to practice, she tripped and soiled her skirt in the mud because it had rained the day earlier. So she quickly ran in and found a restroom and turned her skirt inside-out. Her slip was on over her skirt and everything. It was priceless."
"Sounds like it," Sam replied as she sat down on the couch in the living room. "You really like being a Shenanigan, don't you?"
"Of course I do. It's really fun and the guys are great. I'm surprised I do it so well."
"I'm not," Sam answered truthfully. "You were always witty, you just needed more confidence. High school is hardly a place that boosts morale."
"I guess you're right." Danny looked over at her and then down at his feet. More confident? Sure. He could make witty jokes up on stage, but he could even get enough courage to tell her that he loved her. He'd trade all his confidence in the world to tell her. But if she thought he had all this confidence then it had to be there. Sam was so observant and would never lie to him. If he just tried…
"Sam...I think I have something to tell you."
Sam face turned up to lock eyes with him curiously. "What is it, Danny?"
"I…..I think…..think that……" Her stare was getting to him; she was staring at him so intently, as if every word was worth listening to. His courage broke. "…That I've never seen you smile so much." He plastered on his best smile, but it fell as Sam's face changed. The hopeful glint that he now recognized in her eyes vanished and she frowned, standing up. "Yes, well, I better change that. Don't want you thinking that I'll start wearing pink and giggling at every insignificant thing." She tried to walk passed him and head for the door. "I'm tired. Goodnight, Danny."
He grabbed her arm and she turned back to look at him and he took a step back to see her eyes tearing up. Had she been hoping that he would have told her what he had tried to so many times? And he had tried, but there had always been some sort of interruption, ghost related or not. Or he had chickened out because he was afraid it was the right moment.
But maybe she needed to hear it more than he needed to find the right moment.
"I love you." And, pulling on her arm towards him, he leaned in and kissed her. She was stock still for a moment in surprise before relief flooded him as she returned the kiss eagerly. And it was wonderful! Every cliché flickered through his mind as they kissed. Fireworks went off, the world melted away……"
And lights flashed as several cameras went off simultaneously.
Done! - I enjoyed writing this for all of you. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Even with my infrequent updates.
Reviews make miracles