Author's Note: Just when I think I'm done...another plot bunny hops into the yard and nibbles away at the carrots that, today, serve as a metaphor for my brain. Weird.
Big, big shoutout to everyone who still reads, and the newbies who have only recently jumped on the ever-expanding bandwagon. Cheers!
Also, I have some very exciting news. Dr. ET, one of the authors on the site, has his own Oscar-style awards show (fabulous idea, gangs of fun), and Small Wonders was nominated for...seven categories! That's seven out of twenty-one, people! Eeeeeeeeeeee! Recognition!
The nominations (and wins!) will be listed in the final note at the bottom.
There were certain things that Lewis Cornelius Robinson wouldn't admit.
Number one: That he dressed like an eighty year old man.
It was understandable that he wouldn't accept this incontrovertible fact. Children in an orphanage didn't have many options when it came to clothing. Out of the few donation boxes that they received, clothes that fit were what mattered. And even after his adoption, his style was not improved by the fact that his mother and father were a scientist and a science teacher, respectively. Dressing like a nerd was a family thing.
Which left him in serious trouble when prom night came around.
To be more specific, it was Franny's prom. Lewis had been thankful to have his high school days over with as quickly as possible thank you very much. He was in his lab writing his thesis for yet another doctorate when Franny cornered him. She sat on Theory of Robotic Construction, Physiology, and Psychology, then crossed her legs right in front of him, resting her feet on his knee. Lewis gulped and looked up at her face as quickly as possible.
"Lewis," she said. "The time has come."
"What?" He squeaked, then coughed, and said again in a proper manly voice, "What?"
"The prom is tomorrow," she said, her voice playful. But Lewis knew better than to relax. Her eyes were narrowed in a way that spelled certain death for those that crossed her. "I have my dress, and my shoes, and your boutonnière, and my hair, nail, and makeup appointments. I am prepared to be your date. You are going to take me tomorrow. You promised."
He had? When had this happened? And there was no way a clone of his could have done it; the machine wouldn't be ready for another year, at least.
"Three months ago. At my birthday party. Since you forgot to bring me a present..." Here she made her eyes water and lip tremble, "...you said that you would take me to the prom. No matter what."
And so half an hour later, Lewis found himself calling every tux and limo rental in town, taking small breaks to call the florist for a corsage. None of the above. Not anywhere. Even when he gritted his teeth and said a small prayer for his bank account (which had much, much more in it than was normal for a teenage boy, but still) and tried to buy the tux, limo, and the entire florist shop, he was still incredibly out of luck.
He had to borrow Bud's ancient tux that he had worn at his wedding. The limo was replaced with a BMW that he promised to have back to the dean of the college by eleven. (The dean had been quite happy to loan his car to the college's best and most likely to succeed student, but had visibly winced when Lewis accidentally stalled the car on his first try.) And as for the corsage...well, it was lucky that Lucille kept a rose garden.
Number two: Lewis Cornelius Robinson could not dance. At all. Not even a vague shuffle from side to side. Not even the Macarena. And there was no way he could even pull off bobbing his head to the rhythm when Franny looked at him so adoringly, or held him arm so tightly.
He had no idea how this could be going so well; his hair had refused all attempts to be gelled down. His eyes were bloodshot from the contacts that he had tried to put in. And there was, of course, the tux, car, and hastily made corsage.
But somehow, tonight, it didn't matter. Franny's parents had assumed that his appearance was from long hours studying. The other students had thought that he was either a rock star or into some really serious stuff. And everyone thought that his suit was 'vintage', the BMW 'glamorous'. The girls squealed over the corsage, saying how thoughtful and romantic it was of him, and they wished their boyfriends had done that for them.
Except...none of that mattered. Because as soon as Franny had swept down the stairs to meet him, he had stopped worrying about himself, and what he was doing. Everything that night was about her. She was beautiful, and she wanted to have fun, and she wanted him to be her partner for it. And that made him feel so incredibly...happy.
Franny had laughed at him, then reached over and closed his mouth, which had been hanging open. She twirled to model her red dress for everyone, and cameras were flashing everywhere.
And now he was attempting to remain calm enough to remember where his feet should go, and Franny rested her head on his shoulder, and he tripped yet again.
Number three: He had absolutely no idea about women.
Knowing who he was destined to marry since the age of twelve had not given him the urge to seek out other girls. Not even the ones that had asked. Why bother? He had already found the perfect girl.
So when Franny went to the bathroom, and a crowd of girls swallowed him up, he immediately tried to flee. But the press of girls brooked no escape. He was flooded with questions about college, and how much money he earned, and was that BMW really his, and just how serious was he about Franny?
One blond girl in a cotton candy-pink dress ran her hand up his arm. "How about we go get some drinks?" She said, fluttering her eyelashes. "My date is so boring."
"Uh, no thanks," Lewis said, trying to wriggle away from her grip. The girl's manicured nails dug in tighter.
And then a different hand grabbed his other shoulder and wrenched him around. A fist smashed into his face, and Lewis fell to the floor. His glasses had fallen off, and he squinted at whoever had hit him. All he could get was a dim impression of a bulky, fleshy mountain.
"That's my girl, nerd!"
Lewis' fingers managed to find the familiar round frame of his glasses, and as he replaced them on his face, he replied to Flesh Mountain. "You can have her! At least my date doesn't try to grab any guy she meets!"
This was, perhaps, not the smartest thing to say.
Number four: He bruised incredibly easily.
It really was fortunate that the school nurse was one of the prom chaperones. And while she stuck tampons up Lewis' nose, Franny proceeded to pound the living snot out of Mitchell Nietzholt (aka the mountain of flesh).
The poor kid didn't really stand a chance. Franny ripped her dress doing one of her flying kicks, and broke the heel on her left shoe. Meanwhile, Lewis sat in a corner with an eye swollen shut and tampon strings coming out of his nose. That added up to one ruined prom night, a federal offense to any teenage girl.
When Franny and Lewis of them showed up at the ice cream parlor an hour later sporting serious bruises and ripped prom clothes, they earned more than a few curious and alarmed glances. Franny had also collected a detention slip for the following Saturday.
"It's not fair," she grumbled, stirring her sundae into a concrete mix. "We had plans that day. And it was Mitchell's fault!"
"We can reschedule," Lewis said, plucking the cherry off the top of his ice cream. He held the ripe fruit in front of Franny's lips. She looked at the cherry, then raised an eyebrow at him before gently placing her lips around it and pulling it from his fingers.
"I guess you're right, as usual," she relented. "There's going to be other days."
Her eyes met his, and it seemed as if she were asking a question. Will there be other days? Just how long do you want to stay together? Is this just a fling, or is it...forever?
Lewis reached across the table and took her hand.
"We've got all the time in the world," he said.
And number five: He was a sappy romantic to his very core.
Final Author's Note: This isn't even the original chapter that I had planned. So I've still got at least one more in me. After that, who knows?
And now, the nominations!
*Best Use of Words
*Best Drama Story
*Best Original Version 2-Type Story (outstanding creation of own version of a previously completed or incomplete storyline)
The wins were in the following categories...
Thank you so much for your support, guys! The link for Dr. ET's page is here: .net/u/1702018/Dr_ET . Go check out the other winners!