The cake was made of memories. Each twist of the icing, each impeccably placed letter, each twinkling candle sang of a different day, a different teenage emotion. It was rather difficult to sort all of the years out. While she was usually a flurry of loose-leaf papers and mislabeled containers, she never felt quite right when her thoughts tumbled into a jumble. One can collect quite a lot of memories in five years, reasoned Pandora. It was only ordinary to lose track of a few. Still, though, she thought it best to do a bit of sorting before she blew out the candles. She wouldn’t want to lose her mind before it was found.
It would be best to start from the beginning.
A small home awaited the Belues upon their arrival in Sunset Valley. With chiseled white bricks and an egregiously red door, Pandora immediately felt at ease in their new home. The never-ending sun beat down on the front steps as she ascended them to the front door. Pandora breathed a sigh of relief.
Here, Malix had said, was where her sister would live longer. This was not simply due to Malix’s word, but to a number of factors. The first was the personal hygiene crusade of 1977, conducted by Sister Denta Flause. It was said she was cleaner than the straightest of straight edges. The second was a Coca Cola commercial. Bursting from the confines of the silver screen came a polar bear, which proved to be the decisive factor in the 1983 environmental movement. His indisputable cuteness compelled the citizens of Sunset Valley to dump their cars in the ocean and swear that they’d never pollute another ecosystem. More followed, but these were less important to Vodka’s wellbeing, and therefore were much less interesting to the young Pandora.
An important factor in prolonging Vodka’s life was particularly enthralling to Pandora. His name was Malix Montigo, and she thought he was hotter than a hot air balloon filled with international male underwear models. He was of an average height-scientists had not yet discovered the gene for stature, a rare disposition, and on the occasion he snuck the youngest Belue a glass of wine (or four) once dinner was over. After this, they’d discuss Vodka’s plight, but often this did not last long. One such conversation went as follows:
“That’s mega cool!” cried Pandora. There was a bang on the television. “He just went ballistic on that curb hopper”-she hiccupped loudly, much to the confusion of any bystanders-“and like totally zipped off with his thinker. And that willy just sprouted udders on his-Malix, what in the hell are we watching?”
“Would you quiet down?” moaned Vodka through the wall. “I’m having a terrible time in here, you know, dying.”
“Sure,” said Malix. He leaned towards her, keeping his voice low. His eyes were very red, which Pandora would’ve thought unnatural if she hadn’t thought them so beautiful. He blinked. “Wait, what in the hell are we watching? The local channels here are insane.”
“This stuff is bizzaro!” agreed Pandora amicably. “D’you think real people can just sprout udders like that? Would they just pop up out of nowhere or what?”
“Nu-uh, it’s totally wacko. We’ve got vampires hoo-hahing in the streets, and the fat lady with the ugly kids is an A-list fame monster. Malix, the world’s cuckoo!”
“It’s not average,” said Malix weakly, “but it could certainly be stranger.”
“You just jinxed it!”
“Magic hasn’t been invented yet,” said Malix. “You can’t ‘jinx’ anything.”
Pandora was outraged. “YOU CAN’T INVENT MAGIC!” she shouted. “MAGIC DOESN’T JUST WHIP ITSELF OUT OF SOME OLD WHITE GUY’S TEST TUBE! MAGIC IS IN..IN WOODEN STICKS! IT’S IN THE AIR! IT. IS. NOT. INVENTED.”
“Damn,” said Malix nonchalantly. “I nearly understood everything you said.”
“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!”
“Right. Well, shouldn’t you be heading to bed?”
“I’M SIXTEEN, DAMNIT! I’D BE A SIXTH YEAR AT HOG-FUCKING-WARTS! I CAN HIT THE SACK WHENEVER I WANT!”
The conversation continued in this manner until Pandora, fumes pouring from her ears, stormed to bed and dreamt about the man who did not believe in magic.
This was not ideal.
Three major complications stood before Pandora. First was the thousands of years separating Malix and she. Even if she was eighty, she thought, it’d still be a case of pedophilia. However, he would have a great deal of stories to tell, which she thought would be a swell alternative than reading dusty old books and negated their sizable age difference.
Second was her sister, who was always much happier in his presence and seemed to enjoy scribbling his name on her underpants. Pandora would hate to do Vodka harm, but Pandora did like boys, and boys didn’t like Vodka, and Vodka didn’t like boys most of the time, and Malix was apparently a male, so therefore Vodka had no feelings for him and was just acting strange. Pandora was satisfied with her logic.
The third was that he did not believe in magic, which was not such a big deal in the long run. She wondered why she’d even considered it a complication in the first place. A much better issue swept into its place-her colossal inexperience.
Not one to be easily discouraged, Pandora quickly snared the heart of a local boy. He went by Zee Jay and wore a sideways baseball cap, which he had purchased from the Internet for upwards of sixty dollars. Their first kiss was on the front porch. He said he’d learned his technique from Poop Dawg-a likely story.
Unbeknownst to Pandora, Malix stood on the other side of the window. He yawned and thought about the kiss at hand. It seemed fairly unpleasant. As a vampire, he found very little to be sexy, and those very few things also happened to be fellow vampires or Winona Ryder. Yawning, Malix turned to the television. There was an interesting commercial on featuring a very pale man in a very dark suit speaking about the perils of holding onto the past to the tune of 1950s swing music. Thinking nothing of it, Malix changed the channel.
Pandora continued to see Zee Jay for a week or so before she decided that he really couldn’t rhyme and had an awful pimple on his second chin; thus he was not worthy of her time. He also hated to wear shorts, which Pandora believed to be the most fatal of his many flaws. What a close minded, ignorant-! She could hardly finish the thought. Pandora resolved never to speak to him again.
Instead, she would put more effort into a real man, although he lacked blond hair, a tan, and a heartbeat. It was his easygoing, blasé attitude that defined him. In a world of divas, loudmouths, and trigger-happy tempers, he seemed to be the only mildly sane man in a radius of twenty miles.
It was on a Friday evening that she decided she would confess her love. The night before her eighteenth birthday (and the sixtieth of her parents) felt a momentous occasion-one that deserved to be punctuated by unadulterated adoration. This was decided very early in the morning as she awoke from a terrible dream. A cow, a chicken, and a sentient cowboy hat marched into a bar and each ordered a Scotch. The bartender was an old man in a plaid coat who twirled his mustache as he poured the drinks. After getting their beverages, the three arrivals each took a long sip, looked at each other, and simultaneously said, “Mhm!” Pandora awoke in a cold sweat. Cows held a bad place in her mind, and so she turned it to a better subject: Malix. Thus her decision was born.
She dashed from her room, whipping around the corner as her mother began to scream. An orange, dancing light flickered on the dining room walls-Pandora froze. Heat surged through the house. Each piece of furniture seemed to be alive with the pulse of the flames. If they could’ve talked, reasoned Pandora, they would probably be demanding that someone with opposable thumbs turn on the A/C.
Gingerly, Pandora crept to the kitchen doorway. She began to cough.
Smoke poured from the oven. Creeping from the gaping mouth, it swept up the walls, the windows, and the small crowd of adults prancing about the kitchen. Pandora coughed. No one noticed. There was a faint buzzing, followed by a much louder ringing. Nina’s cheeks flushed pink. “I have to take this call!” she shouted, pressing the phone to her ear.
“’The hell does she think she’s doing?” screamed Bender to Malix.
Malix shrugged and ignored this. “FIRE!!”
“You might want to, er, flush it out,” said Pandora smartly.
“Do we have an extinguisher?” asked Vodka, who had seemingly teleported behind her sister.
Bender produced one from his back pocket. He aimed it at the fire, and unleashed the gases. “Er, Nina?” asked Malix. “Shouldn’t you be off the phone?”
“There’s just, you know, a fire right here, and I was hoping you and your husband both have hyperspace pockets, since it’s obvious the fire department is still on their smoke break,” sighed Malix. “Does any of that make sense to you?”
“Is it midnight yet?” asked Pandora, who did not have massive pockets and was thus unable to do anything but switch the conversation to a more pleasant topic.
Malix chuckled darkly. “Why don’t we put out the fire first and then worry about birthday preparations?”
“And besides,” grimaced Bender, “you’ll never look like the crypt keeper. Maybe Betty White, but never the crypt keeper.”
“There goes the stove,” observed Pandora. She yawned.
“Pandora,” asked Malix, “are you bored?”
“Can’t you already tell with your vampire mind reading thingy?”
“Because you haven’t made it yet,” said Nina.
“And that’s terrible,” said Malix, “but I really think I should get Pandora out of here. Wouldn’t want your daughter to go up in flames, after all.”
“Who said anything about seducing?” snarled Malix, who had wanted only to privately discuss Vodka’s fate. “I like both of you equally!”
Pandora, on the other hand, was thrilled by this suggestion. “Let’s motor!”
“Panda!” cried Vodka. “This is your crucial moment! Are you really just going to throw everything away?”
“What about-?” began Nina.
“No worries!” grinned Bender, whose mind was developing a grand scheme. “The fire’s out, and I’m sure Malix won’t do anything too traumatic to our daughter.”
“Pandora,” pleaded Vodka. “This is between me and him! Why don’t you take me with you?”
“It’s top secret,” said Malix. “Pandora, get dressed. Vodka, watch television. We’ve got a long night ahead of us.”
There was a large amount of shouting, awkward silences, broken plates, and then a great, insurmountable silence broken only by the occasional explosion in the distance. Vodka had been shouting something about love and loss and death, and Pandora had been dreamily wondering about her one on one future with Malix. After an hour of fighting and a brief disappearance of Vodka, the matter was resolved with a resolute “No!” from the woman of the household. Sulkily, both girls retreated to their shared bedroom. The silence was unbearable.
This all made the next day’s birthday party very awkward.
Nina was the first to transition, and in a whirl of sparkles, she became older than the Egyptian pyramids. Groaning, she scratched her back. While she did not look like the crypt keeper, she was not quite at her prime anymore. “I look like a corpse,” she muttered.
“Not yet!” said Malix pleasantly. He enjoyed watching mortals fade into old age. It certainly made immortality feel swell.
Next was Bender. As he spun into his final years, a magnificent mustache sprouted above his upper lip. He began to cheer wildly, flailing his arms about and hooting at anyone who would listen. Throughout his entire life, he had never been able to grow more than a layer of permanent stubble. With this newborn mustache, he had finally achieved maturity. He was now, at last, a man.
With his facial hair secured, Bender tugged at the detonator in his pocket. No car would be safe tonight.
Vodka Belue aged up in her usual melancholy fashion. One day older was another day closer to dying, and she could barely see any purpose for continuing on at all. The man she loved had stolen her sister-although she did hope to steal him back the next evening, her alien ancestors didn’t seem to care for her, and if Malix was correct, she had only seven years left to live.
Also, the cake smelled like diabetes.
Pandora was the last to age up. After thinking back on her life, she decided it’d only be best to continue moving forward with it. Love, she knew, was within her grasp. Love was what mattered. That and style, which she supposed would make a better career choice. Hearing Malix’s voice, Pandora smiled.
Tomorrow, she decided. Tomorrow I’ll tell him.
The Avett Brothers – “Paranoia in B Flat Major”
A/N: Finally!! Sorry about this taking so long.. School’s been a bitch. I’m sick, though, so I’ve got some time to write today. WOO! I also got gifted for being in the caption contest, so double WOO!
I’ve got a couple of questions for you guys, though:
How would you feel about another time skip for Supernatural? I have some great ideas for the next generation, but they’ll require the new EP. I’ll be posting a couple of interlude updates in between. I’m just terribly bored of this generation. Maybe it’s the Sims 3 or how closed in I feel with this plot, I dunno. But anywho, would you rather do a time skip or have a few more chapters focusing on Pandora and Vodka?
Bender!! Don’t give up your manhood just yet!