"...Huh?" the dozy young woman grunted as the vibrations of her phone abruptly startled her semi-awake. As she let out a jaw-stretching yawn, she reached to answer the call, which quickly proved to be a bit more difficult than expected. After all, it was hard enough moving about the hammock that she had rigged up out on the front porch, despite Mr. Herriman's objections how it "marred house aesthetics" or whatever it was he had been griping about at the time.
However, what definitely wasn't making the task any easier was the face that the hammock was currently rather full. At that very moment, she shared it with no less than two napping children and a snoring blob. Finally though, after bumping her fingers against Mac several times too many and nearly elbowing the slumbering Goo right in the head, she managed to gingerly fish her phone from her sweater just as it got to its last buzz.
"Hello?" she answered softly. Immediately she broke out into a fat smile that spread from cheek to cheek once she heard the familiar voice. "Hey, honey! How are you? Uh huh...well that's good...yeah, sorry, I can't talk too loud right now."
She rolled her eyes at the comment that followed from the other end. "Yes, 'my kids' are sleeping. Good one, Mister Comedian, I definitely haven't heard anything like that before...hmmm? Yeah, the chore-load was pretty light today. I actually finished up shortly after lunch, so I got to a play a game of 'Space-Ninjas' outside with...huh? No, no, they were the space ninjas, I was the Pirate Queen of Mars."
As she chatted in a tone barely above a whisper, she lazily twirled a loose lock of red hair with a free finger. "So what are you doing tonight? Uh-huh...uh-huh...re-heated meatloaf? Oh, that definitely sounds like a meal to die for."
She couldn't help but giggle now that she was go to throw out a playful barb. "No, of course I'm being serious, why wouldn't I be? Hey...why don't you save your gourmet dinner for another night? Uh-huh...no, I know we don't have anything planned. But why don't you just swing by later after work? It's pizza night tonight, so you can grab a few slices and hang out a bit, and...what's that? I don't care if it gets Peter Cotton-Butt's underwear in a tangle, it'll be fine. Grandma likes you, so you have nothing to worry about...uh-huh...uh-huh...is that right? Okay, well then what if I told you we have a new house resident? Well, he was made by a kid who didn't have a whole lot of creativity, so you have to believe me when I say he is exactly like...wait for it...Fozzie Bear."
Frankie quickly tried to stifle a chuckle, for even the gentle quivering of her belly had enough potential to wake up the napping little ones clustered all about her. Still, it was hard not to be amused by the burst of almost childish excitement that was now pouring through the receiver. "Yes, yes, he even tells terrible jokes too...yeah, they're just awful. And if you ask me, he probably only has open week here, tops, before some kid decides to take him home...haha, I knew that'd hook you in. So just show up around six-ish, okay? And feel free to stick around longer. No, it'll be fun! Bloo is pretty convinced you two can win in multiplayer on Galactic Blaster 2...I dunno, Mac and I beat you pretty badly last weekend...okay, okay, we'll see who gets the last laugh this time...yeah, see you tonight."
She heard him hurriedly add one more thing before she could hang up. "Huh? Rudy, say that again, I didn't get...oh..."
Frankie paused and quickly cast a cautious glance about to make sure the others were still deep in slumber. Once she was sure that the coast was clear, she finally answered back with a smile and a blush, "Yeah, I heard you that time...love you too. Bye."
She then flipped her phone off and lay back with a sigh of total and utter contentment. However, no sooner had she gotten comfortable when one of her supposedly sleeping hammock-mates finally let out a muffled snort of laughter, followed by a playful but also semi-sincere, "...Yuck."
Frankie rolled her eyes and gave the little boy curled against her left side an ungentle poke. "You are getting way too good at listening in at all the wrong times, kiddo."
Mac lazily opened an eye before defending himself. "How about next time you do a better job of answering your phone without waking anyone up?"
"Maybe….and maybe next time I should bump you right off of here." She softly shot right back with a mock-serious frown. "Then you can nap on the nice comfy ground, and I can answer my private phone calls in peace."
"Okay…but would he be calling you in the first place without..you know…" Mac pointed out mischievously before letting out a dozy yawn.
Frankie stifled a chuckle, conceding gracious defeat in the play-argument. She curled her arm around and lovingly hugged him a little closer, though not before succumbing to the urge to whisper jokingly. "Either you get back to napping, Mister Smartypants, or I'll dump my boyfriend tonight just so you won't have anything to gloat about."
Taking the unsubtle hint, Mac let his eyes droop back shut and rested his head in the crook of her neck. Not surprisingly it wasn't long until he checked out, and Frankie soon started to follow her adopted charge's lead, and let herself slowly drift off as she basked in the tranquility of the moment. Or, at least she tried to for a few minutes, before her next interruption literally reared its head.
The front door suddenly creaked open, followed by the familiar squeak of basketball shoes. "Hey, Frankie, are you-"
"Shhhh." she softly hushed, before the towering red string-bean of an imaginary friend could even poke his face out. Wilt immediately went silent as he emerged out onto the porch and quickly scanned the scene. Wordlessly Frankie pointed to the little huddle of dozing little lumps nesting around her.
"Oops, sorry!" Wilt quickly apologized in a softer and far more appropriate volume. "Sorry, I was just checking up. You need anything?"
Frankie shook her head a few times until something that suddenly crossed her mind. "Well...care to give us a little push?"
The gangly figment flashed his trademark cheek to cheek smile before he sat down, leaned back heavily against the porch railing, and ever so gently gave the hammock a light rock. Slowly it started to swing back and forth, and the young woman happily settled in with another contented sigh.
"Need anything else?" he whispered. She was about to fire back with an automatic response before suddenly deciding to take a few seconds to give his inquiry a bit of honest thought. Once the near-unbelievable but happy truth dawned upon her, almost immediately a grin sprouted on her face.
"You know…." She admitted in a happy murmur. "Work is the same as always...I have good friends...family I wouldn't give up for the world...and for the first time, I am no longer single, and actually enjoying it.
Wilt let out a small laugh. "So do you need anything else, or not?"
"You know what? Not...one...single...thing." The young woman replied, happily dragging out the final answer and just relishing every moment of it.
"Well is that so?" her imaginary friend chortled, quite pleased to see her so at ease.
"Uh-huh." She tucked her hands behind her head with a joyous sigh. "You better believe it. It looks like for now, absolutely everything is coming up Frankie."
With that, she shut her eyes tight, ready for a nice afternoon nap. Alas, it was a nap that wad destined to never arrive, but hardly had she finished speaking when the redhead and had the imaginary friend both had their attention caught by a barely audible sound that sounded suspiciously like something was slowly tearing.
Sleepy-time was brought to a crashing halt when everyone took an abrupt trip south to the ground below. Without further warning, the hammock rebelled against the tranquility of the moment and abruptly collapsed in a heap, and a split-second late all four of its former occupants were lying in a groaning tangle, all wide awake and none too happy about any of it.
"This hammock got a whole lottta, lotta, lotta less comfy." Goo whined as Wilt immediately was in the thick of the aftermath, fishing a dazed Bloo off the child before helping her onto her feet.
"Owww..." Mac grunted with a wince as he clumsily detached himself from the mess. "What just happened?
Frankie just lay where she fell in an undignified sprawl. Finally though, as her charge assisted her back upright, she furrowed her brow and declared her defiance to the whole world in reply. "Something that I absolutely refuse to take as a sign of anything."
That does it for this minor trip of mine back into writing. I hope you enjoyed it!