Forget Me Nots

by Mary Liza Hartong and Andrew Kingsley | 1/21/16 8:49pm

“Geez, my head’s killing me!” Josie Cuervo laments, rising from her top bunk perch. It’s 3:00 P.M. on a Saturday afternoon. Josie remembers nothing. Glancing about the room, she sees a large stain on the ground, her bra resting amongst her windowsill Chia pets, and an empty space where her phone used to be. She hears a knock on her door.

“Josie, it’s me! Are you okay?” Josie’s roommate, Temperance, enters, fresh from her Aqua-Pilates spin class at Starbucks. She gives Josie a once over and laughs.

“You don’t even remember what happened last night, do you? You blacked out.”

“Not a thing. Why, did something happen? Did I flitz my captain, Morgan? He’s such a good tennis player and leader. I admire him so much. I’d like to put some spin on his balls, if you know what I mean?”

Temperance, always out of the loop, stares blankly and drools.

“No, bigger. But you’ll have to ask Jack and Daniel. They’re carving ice sculptures out by Collis,” Temp giggles and drools.

“Ok, thanks!” Josie says, toppling from her top bunk. “Oof! I’m such a goon!”

In the process of breaking her fall, Josie realizes she already has a cast on her left leg.

“What the hell?” she ponders, and limps her way to Collis.

Jack and Daniel, always the Dum Dums in the lollipop drawer, fight each other with chainsaws as the sculpting instructor thinks about separating them. Maurice, recently separated from his ex-wife Annette, knows too well how separation can destroy children’s sense of security. He sees his own children in Jack and Daniel as they frolic with chainsaws ablaze, massacring townspeople.

“Josie!” Jack squawks.

“Hey, guys. Do you know what I did last night?”

“Awww, yeah! Why don’t you look behind you!” Daniel chuckles.

Expecting nothing short of Canada geese mourning a pile of jackets, Josie turns around.

“What? I don’t see anything,” she remarks.

“The fence! You broke down that stupid fence last night. Now we can jaywalk as we please. The children are free!” Jack exclaims.

Out of nowhere, a group of children covered in rags run free.

“Huh. Way to go drunk me. What else did I do?”

“You’re gonna have to ask Tito. He’s working at Baker right now.”

Josie hobbles over to Baker, dodging carolers, happy prancing puppies and Bernie supporters on the Green.

“Get off of me you monsters,” she yells at them all. “I don’t want your idealism!”

Ripping a happy puppy and a Bernie sticker off her chest, she sees Tito smiling from the circulation desk, sporting sunglasses to mask his hangover.

“Hey Tito! Nice shades!” Josie chortles, tripping on her cast.

“Hey Miss Popular, you sure made a lot of friends last night.”

“Oh no. Just give it to me straight. How many did I dance with? Three? Four? Please not five.”

“I think it was more like 25.”

“Geez, that beats my record by 25. Was Morgan one of them?”

“Twenty-five printers. You fixed every GreenPrint station on campus. You’re a hero, Josie. A goddamn hero. There’s a parade in your honor this afternoon.”

“Oh! Sweet wampum!” an enraptured ’16 cries from a GreenPrint station. “It works! It finally works. I don’t have go back to Ohio.” She breaks into convulsions and tears.

“See,” Tito grins.

“Okay, I guess that’s good news… but I still don’t know where my phone is,” Josie laments.

“I think Ann has it.”

“Which one? Ann Smith or Ann Gree’Orchard?”

“Ann Smith died in the ice sculpture fight. Ann Gree’Orchard has your phone. She’s skating on Occom right now.”

“Thanks, Tito!”

“No, thank you!”

“Yes, thank you, oh holy ghost!” the enraptured ’16 cries, prying the skin from her face and feeding it to the hungry printers. The printers are at last sated and the curse is lifted.

Josie rides her parade float to Occom pond. There she spots Ann, twirling on her skates across the icy expanse.

“Josie! I can’t believe it’s really you! You’re a miracle worker,” Ann cheers.

“Is that really her?” the townsfolk whisper.

“Mama, is that, is that the girl who rescued Whiskers from the tree?” a child asks.

“Yeah and she’s the one who shined my tooth,” a wily grandfather remarks.

“And pulled my car out of Occom,” meows Whiskers.

“Wait, so is that how I broke my leg?” Josie asks the large crowd.

“Heavens no!” Ann remarks, “You broke your leg when you performed the greatest miracle of all.”

Morgan comes forward, splitting the crowd like the Red Sea.

“You broke your leg, angel, when you brought Cookie Crisp cereal to Foco,” he smiles, kissing her.

“What? Just Cookie Crisp?” Josie admits.

"JUST COOKIE CRISP?” the crowd hisses, holding their bowls up to the sun, drooling.

“They have Cookie Crisp here?” a prospective ’20 wonders aloud.

“YES!” the crowd cheers. “GIVE OUR QUEEN HER COOKIE CROWN!”

“Mom, I’m home,” the prospie smiles, fighting back tears.

“Ugh, I’m going back to sleep,” Josie groans. Someone smashes the cookie crown onto her head.

Black out.