MISERY LOVES COMPANY
by: Jennifer Gregson
The door clicked behind him as I picked up the pace, trying to catch up. The heavy metal door was harder to open than I thought it would be. Once inside, I noticed music playing – it wasn’t loud. The lights weren’t that dim either, but it was definitely some kind of party. A few people were even trying to dance. They had on very strange outfits. Leather boots, masks, capes with various letters emblazoned in bold colors. My eyes scanned the room, searching.
I spun around, “Mom?”
She grabbed my jacket, pulled me into an empty side room, and shut the door behind her.
“Why are you here?”
“I….received an invitation?”
Mom took a deep breath and sighed, “I was afraid of that. Were you followed?”
“I don’t think so.”
She nodded, “Good, good.” She studied me for quite a while, a smile played on her face, “So what are your powers?”
“Mom, are you drunk?”
“On any drugs?”
“Stop playing, Diana. If you were invited, then you must have shown some signs. Can you fly? See through walls? Lift heavy objects?”
“I’m not Wonder Woman.”
“Duh! She wouldn’t be here anyways, she’s too big. Don’t be scared, you are among your people. What powers have you noticed?”
“I lied. There was no invitation. I followed a boy. I followed a tall, dark haired boy wearing all black and a long leather jacket into this…well, I guess you would call it a party. Sorry.”
“That was Misery. He’s no boy.”
“He’s not? He looked around 17.”
“Wrong, he’s older…a lot older. He is a 300 plus year old alien who is trying to destroy the Earth.”
My mouth dropped open. I was going to need some serious help with Mom’s intervention. She was obviously high on something.
“I can’t believe he would just walk in here…so casually. Did you see where he went?”
“No, I opened the door behind him, but all I saw were those weirdos out there dressed in Halloween costumes. Then you grabbed me and pulled me in here.”
For the first time I really got a good look at my mom. She was dressed just like the others. Red knee high boots. Dark green tights under a lighter green skirt and a matching short-sleeve sweater. A frilly cream colored CG were embroidered on her chest in yarn.
“CG?” I asked.
“Christmas Girl. I can make it snow. And talk to reindeer.”
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“I told you, I followed a boy, who’s apparently an alien.”
“I mean, why are you out at night?”
“Oh,” I looked around the small room. Shelves with various cleaning bottles lined the concrete wall, “I was hanging with Lou. We were chilling in the park, no biggie, and then I saw that cutie.”
“Lou? Of course. That girl is nothing but trouble.”
“Mom, you’re on something, you’re dressed like a deranged winter cheerleader, and you think Lou is the problem here?”
“Fine. Not now, but you are grounded. Go home and stay home.”
Mom opened the door, she looked both ways, and then took off. I tried to follow her, but she was moving too quickly. We turned a corner, I dodged super heroes left and right. I was attempting to avoid one stubby guy in a neon yellow leotard when I slipped on someone else’s cape and went down, hard, with a loud thud.
“Now then,” a voice bellowed, “since I have everyone’s attention, you’ll do exactly what I say or Snow Babe here gets it.”
I struggled to get up and that’s when I saw him. Dashing, with a big toothy grin on his face, holding a gun…on my Mom!
“This is my favorite part. You are all under my control. If I want you guys to jump, you won’t even have to ask how high. If I want you to rob every bank in town, kill every last person you love, or just…get me a latte, you will.”
“Stop!” I said, standing up.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Christmas Girl’s daughter.”
“Diana, don’t….you’re normal, you can’t stop him.”
“Why aren’t you frozen,” he asked.
I looked around the sad room. Everyone, and by everyone I mean like 15 people at most, were totally at a stand still. Stuck in various party actions.
“You think you can stop me? That’s funny. Little girl, you have no idea who you’re messing with.”
His voice was smooth like silk. I started to feel – different. His voice sounded like it was coming from inside my head.
“I have all the so-called heroes in one room. Taking over this city won’t be hard.”
His eyes were the blackest I’d ever seen. And hypnotic. As he kept talking, I started walking. Closer and closer. Soon, I was inches from his pale face.
“Hi baby,” he said. I could smell the sweet scent of his cologne. Hear his breath, rapid and heavy, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?”
We looked deep into each other’s eyes. I felt drowsy and light headed all at the same time. He pushed Mom away and tried to grab me, but I grabbed him first and kissed him – hard.
After a few minutes, I finally pulled away and sighed.
Misery dropped his gun, clutched his throat, and fell over. Sputtering for air…his eyes bugging out and starting to turn a pale gray color. He was quickly seized by two large women wearing matching gold and silver dresses.
“That was incredible,” they gushed in perfect unison.
I was confused. My lips felt numb. My breath felt heavy in my lungs. My eyes watered. Mom grabbed me in a big bear hug. Snow, just a few light flakes, started falling around us. Super heroes gathered around us, chanting, “She has the poison kiss! She has the poison kiss!”
“They said you were coming,” Mom said with tears rolling down her cheeks, “but I never thought it would be you. You…poison kiss!”
“A poison kiss, huh? Well, that definitely explains my love life.” I turned to Mom, “but I’m not wearing a cape. Never. Ever.”