Over four generations, the Belue family had learned exactly four things:
First, that ladderless pools are far more lethal than electrocution.
Second, that murder earns true love and hefty scholarships.
Third, that love triangles are a pain in the ass and hella boring to write.
And finally, that while money can’t buy happiness, it sure makes strides in the right direction.
Elizabeth Belue had learned none of these things. In fact, she hardly remembered anything at all. She knew only the hot sand between her fingers, the harsh sun beating at her eyes, her name, and the general plots of a few daytime soaps. “I must be in one of those survival dramas,” she said to herself, squinting into the cloudless sky.
Behind Elizabeth stood a small, odd house. She twisted around to look at it. Windows composed most of its walls, and ratty carpeting stretched across its floors. Hardly a story tall, its shadow barely scraped her fingertips. Elizabeth pushed herself from the ground, wiped her hands on her pants, and went inside.
As soon as the door clicked shut, something barked from the bedroom. Elizabeth leaped nearly to the ceiling, thinking it the violent host from some violent reality show. Oh, the name escaped her. On terrified tiptoes she edged to the bedroom door-labelled clearly Elizabeth’s Room-and eased it open a crack.
A black, wet nose nuzzled through. She giggled, dropped to her knee; the dog crawled into her lap and drooled on her jeans. “Gross,” said Elizabeth as she bent forward to read its collar. “Rasputin, huh?”
Rasputin wagged his tail.
“You’re named after…” She squeezed her eyes shut. “Somebody.”
She stood and walked to the kitchen, where a newspaper lay waiting on a mosaic table. She picked it up, then sat down. It lay open to the “HELP WANTED” section. In the fourth column, six entries down, was circled “Test Subject.” “That’s like a taste tester, right?” asked Elizabeth. “Ooh, maybe I’ll be on Cake Boss!”
She answered the ad via the telephone, conveniently located in the kitchen, and was accepted without a single reference-not that she could’ve remembered one.
As she hung up the phone, someone knocked on the door.
“Y-you must’ve put a lot of money into this place!” said the other, his mohawk reaching for the ceiling. “Think of how many cloning facilities you could fund with that bank!”
“Hush, Nervous,” said Glasses Man. “You’re Elizabeth Belue, yes? Pleased to meet you. I’m Vidcund Curious, and this is Nervous Subject. Jenny Smith is waiting outside-narrow hallway you’ve got here. You can hardly fit the three of us. Anyway, we’re pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“Elizabeth, where’d you get your hair dyed?” asked Nervous Subject.
“Genetics,” replied Elizabeth. “How do you know my name?”
“P.T. heard you were moving into town,” answered Vidcund. “He asked us to help you settle in. He’s pretty ancient, so he couldn’t come down here himself.”
“Waffles?” asked Elizabeth. “I remember something about grilled cheese, but nothing about waffles.”
“Go figure,” muttered Vidcund. Clearing his throat, he added, “Mind if I use your bathroom?”
“Of course,” said Elizabeth. Vidcund squeezed past her and disappeared down the hall. Nervous Subject inched towards the radio. Then he smashed the play button as though he were a mustached Italian plumber, and it a devious turtle. Guitars crashed through the speakers. “This is my favorite song!” shouted Nervous, wiggling his hips and shuffling forwards and backwards. “I call this dance move The Walker!”
Elizabeth’s arms began to pump, and she leaned forward, then backward to the beat. “I call this the Single Lady!”
“It’s Single Ladies!” shouted Nervous over the radio. “Mind if I call you Blue?”
“I’m a little wobbley today,” answered Elizabeth. “Must be the memory loss.”
“Let’s play hackey sack!” said Vidcund quickly. Nervous whipped around. His eyes narrowed.
“It’s on,” hissed Nervous.
An old woman snuck inside to witness the match. Elizabeth eyed her with frightened curiosity. She’d never seen a smile quite that big. She was certain the woman would pull a knife from her khakis’ back pocket, and stab the whole room dead without dropping her grin. Her enthusiasm for hackey sack certainly supported the theory.
“KICK HIM THE THE BALLS!” screamed the maybe-killer. “SMASH THAT MOHAWK INTO THE CARPET!”
“That’s not very nice,” pouted Nervous.
“Shut it, tool,” snapped the woman. “BEAT HIM, VIDCUND!”
Elizabeth snagged a meal tray from the fridge, and snuck to the table. She shoveled the food into her mouth nearly as excitedly as the maybe-killer screamed at the hackey sackers. Little did she know sloppy eating and murder were too of the most famous Belue traditions.
Rasputin watched the match, wondering if he’d advised the czar in a past life. He thought better of it, though, and settled with gnawing his own foot.
As Elizabeth licked her plate clean, Vidcund won the match. All parties rejoiced, except for Rasputin. The Revolution was getting to him.
Within minutes, the crowd dispersed, leaving Elizabeth alone with her empty mind, and Rasputin alone with the czar’s death. Elizabeth sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Elizabeth Belue,” she whispered to herself as she slipped out of her pants. “Elizabeth Belue-Elizabeth who? Belue? What a strange name.”
She pulled the covers up to her chin. “Belue, Belue, Be-lue,” she muttered. “Sounds like some kind of berry.”
Her eyelids fluttered, then shut.
“Bet it tastes like crayons,” she breathed, then fell asleep.
The Smiths – “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”
A/N: OMG IT’S BACK!!! Damn, it’s been almost seven months since Watson’s finale. I honestly didn’t think I’d revisit the Belues, but Insaneepandaa convinced me otherwise. Thanks, chica. (:
Anywho, I’ve really gota get caught up with everyone else’s stories and prolly update ADDC sometime. Those updates take hella long to get out, but I’ll try to get one done over Thanksgiving or Christmas break! As for Belue updates, they’ll be more frequent. These chapters take a quarter of the time that Dove chapters do (they usually average eight hours plus, writing, pictures, and picture editing combined). I’ll try to have updates done whenever I have time!
ALSO thank you so much everybody for sticking with this story! I hope the next chapters will make the wait worth it!
Maybe-Killer’s getting all choked up over hardcore hackey sack.