Today is R-Day for the A-Z Challenge. I totally missed Q-Day so I'm going to combine them here.
Back to Happy Acres....
"So," I said. "Who's next? Simon or Artie?"
"I was the last one here, so I'll tell my tale last," Artie said.
"Well, then. I suppose that leaves me, doesn't it?" Simon said.
He rose from his chair and sauntered to the doorway where a fire extinguisher was mounted on the wall. Unfazed by all of us waiting for his tale, he fisted his hand and knocked once on the wall panel beneath the extinguisher. The board popped out and inside, balanced neatly on a two by four brace, was a fifth of Sobieski vodka and a shot glass.
"It's against the rules to have alcohol in here," Artie pointed out.
A sly smile spread Simon's lips as he opened the bottle and poured himself a shot.
"Rules are meant to be broken, my friend," he said, throwing back the shot.
He replaced the bottle and the glass, then closed the panel.
"Now we know where your stash is," I said, triumphant. Simon is, after all, my Happy Acres nemesis. I'm always looking for ways to get the upper hand in our ongoing battle of wills.
"Quite right, good lady," he said, crossing his arms and leaning against the door jamb. "But wouldn't I be foolish to keep all my eggs in one basket?"
"You have more hidden hooch?" T-Bone asked, surprised.
Simon just smiled and watched as everyone's eyes scanned the room and considered where else he could have hidden goodies.
"Just what else do you have hidden around here?" Artie asked.
"Oh!" Tessa said. "Like cupcakes?"
"No cupcakes," Simon said with disdain. He clearly thought himself above pastry.
"Then what?" Bill asked.
Simon headed back for his chair where he settled in, crossing his legs and behaving every inch the king he claimed to be. When he didn't answer, I just sighed in exasperation.
"Never mind," I said. "He's just going to jerk us around and laugh while we scurry around trying to find stuff he may or may not have hidden."
"Like some twisted Easter Bunny," T-Bone said.
"I love jelly beans," Tessa said.
"Just tell us your tale and be done with it," I said to Simon, glaring at him. Not that at this point I wanted him to have any more attention. But we'd already started the tale-telling and there was no getting around it now.
"Well," he said, then teased us with a long pause. "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
I scoffed at him. "Yeah, I'd like to see you try."
"Be careful what you ask for, good lady."
"What're you going to do, Simon, charm me to death? Or maybe drink me under the table? Or bore me to death by reading Hemingway aloud?"
"Don't tempt me," he warned.
Before I could deliver my comeback, Mia cleared her throat. "Scusies, but the zombies are impatiently waiting for a tres totes peachy tale. So maybe you two can, you know, perhaps square off after the tale-telling?"
Simon squirmed briefly in his seat, his gaze scanning the area around Mia, then quickly returning to meet her eyes. Simon is uncomfortable around Mia's zombies.
"You're quite right, Mia. It's story telling time. Don't want to upset the zombies, now, do we?" He chuckled uneasily.
Tessa tossed a handful of rainbow confetti. "Yay for stories!"
"So," Simon said, "you want to know how I ended up here?"