"YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" I paused Skyrim and shoved the chair away from the desk with my feet, holding my hands in the air in a victory pose. "WHOOOO!!!!" I jumped onto my bed and started dancing. "Yeah Sofie, you're awesome, killing Harkon, next is Edward!" I struck a pose and pointed at my younger sister, Chelsea, who was texting away on her side of the room. "HEAR THAT SIS, YOUR BOYFRIEND'S DAYS ARE NUMBERED!!!"
"I'm sorry Sofie," she sighed, not even sparing a glance at her victorious older sister, "but I'm not the one who dates fictional characters in this household."
"Then explain this," I sang, pulling a Robert Pattinson pin up out from under her dresser.
"OMG!" Chelsea lunged over and yanked the poster out of my hands. "Sofie, that's so uncool!"
"It is very uncool," I said, pulling my hair out of its bun and tossing the bun former onto my dresser. "Edward Cullen is an abusive jerk-bag who dictates every aspect of Bella's life, up to and including who she interacts with. If he showed up and asked to date you, I would utilize all my connections and have him disappear." I grabbed my hairbrush, pulled out the hair wad that had accumulated, and brushed my hair as I made my way into the bathroom.
"What connections?" asked Chelsea. "The only people you connect with are those weirdos that come and play dumb games on the Xbox with you."
"I'm pretty sure Devin's uncle is a mob boss," I said, taking off my Star Wars shirt and putting on an old t-shirt I'd worn when Cam's mud volleyball team got me to play. "Where'd I put that hair dye?"
"Under the sink, so you wouldn't forget."
"Right!" I opened the cabinet under the sink and pulled out the box of purple hair dye. "Thanks!"
"Why couldn't you do blue again?" asked Chelsea. I rolled my eyes and started bleaching my hair.
"Because I did blue when I defeated Cerberus and seduced the juice out of that hot hunk of loving Turian beefcake. This time I killed Harkon the Vampire King, so I'm dying my hair the color of royalty and butt-kick."
"Purple isn't the color of butt-kick."
"IT IS NOW."
"Whatever." Chelsea went back to her iPhone. Five seconds later, the doorbell rang.
"Thumper's here!" I said.
"Don't call him Thumper," said Chelsea. "And be nice. He needs some friends."
"Thaddeus is a racist, sexist, homophobic, bible-abusing, idiotic, abnormal creep-nerd who can't go a day without telling some poor girl she's going to hell for wearing pants. He has no friends because he has no decency, and he is either going to die alone or die surrounded by racist jerk-jacks, and if I want to call him Thumper or Periwinkle Butt-Sniffer, then I have every right to do so."
I began to massage the dye into my hair. As usual, it was taking a while thanks to my stupidly long hair. But, my parents thought hair stylists and barbers were trying to rob us, so it was either let my hair grow out or let Dad give me a buzz cut. Stupidly long hair was the lesser of two evils.
"Just, don't call him Thumper to his face," said Chelsea. I could tell from her voice that she was trying to unleash her +5 diplomacy powers on me. It worked.
"If he can go without implying I'm going to burn in hell, I can go without making any sassy remarks,” I said. “Got that, little miss diplomat?”
"I thought it was too much to hope for,” said Chelsea. The door to the bedroom closed.
Ten minutes later, I ran out of the bathroom with my hair wrapped up in a towel. I ran into the hallway and jumped down the stairs, two at a time.
"EEEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!!" I shouted, jumping into the living room, where Chelsea was patiently patronizing Thaddeus. "I hope you're ready kids, because tonight is Screaming Night, and I am going to be making my famous Five-Dragon Screaming Mimi Pizza complete with my own, special, patented, Flaming Monkey Sauce." I held out my hands in a bring-it-on gesture. "Well?"
"It's a relief to see you can act like a woman when need be," said Thaddeus. Chelsea sent me a look that clearly read 'I understand that all bets are off, but please don't kill him.' I shrugged and walked into the kitchen.
Flaming Monkey Sauce was the byproduct of a sixth grade science fair project on Scoville Heat Units. Over the years, I'd honed and perfected my craft, so the result was nearly intolerable to anyone outside a select circle of people. And the Principal, but I'm pretty sure she's an alien, so that doesn't count. There were two varieties: the same recipe from sixth grade, for normal people, and the Deluxe version, for me, my friends, the Principal, and the people at the park who thought they could stomach it. Forget flipping burgers for bucks; I was getting five bucks a pop to watch grown men scream and cry.
The Five-Dragon Screaming Mimi was a chicken and pepperoni pizza with Flaming Monkey mixed into the sauce. It was the culinary achievement of all time, right up there with Zebra Cakes. I cooked it up and topped it with some of the cheap-o Parmesan you put on spaghetti.
"Come and get it!" I shouted.
Chelsea walked in, looking worn down.
"How's conversion coming?" I asked. She shot me a look and left with a pizza slice in hand. "Not well," I muttered.
Thaddeus came in. I gave him his pizza slice, took mine, and grabbed a pocket-sized bottle of Deluxe out of the fridge. I squirted it all over my pizza and took a bite.
"What's that?" Thaddeus asked. I chewed and swallowed.
"Hot sauce," I said.
"I'd like some," said Thaddeus. I was about to refuse, but I stopped myself.
"Sure," I said. I started squirting. "Just say when."
He more than I did, probably in an attempt to show that men were stronger than women. I pointed him to the boxes of soda cans by the fridge and took off with the sauce bottle in my pocket, chuckling to myself. Chelsea gave me a weird look as I entered the living room.
"What did you do?" she asked.
"He wanted some hot sauce." I ran up the stairs to my room and locked the door just as Thaddeus's scream echoed through the house. I figured it might be a good idea to hide on the roof for a while.
I put on a hoodie and kept the towel on my hair. Then, I climbed out the window and sat on top of the roof. It was nippy out, the way October nights were, but the stars were insanely beautiful. I sat on the roof and traced out all the constellations I could see through the clouds as I ate my perfectly crafted pizza. I felt like I could let go of the roof and float straight up into space.
My phone buzzed with a text from Chelsea, but I ignored her. She was just going to tell me off for spiking Thaddeus's pizza, but that twerp was cruel. Chelsea was so hung up on making Thaddeus into a good person, she was ignoring the simple fact that he already thought he was God's perfect little gift to mankind.
The phone buzzed again. I ignored it and opened my star app.
"Huh," I said to myself. "The ISS is over Japan. Cool." I looked at the eastern skyline out of the corner of my eye as the ISS began to fly over the Pacific, anticipating its appearance in the sky.
My phone began playing the Sisters Song from White Christmas and my heart stopped.
The Sisters Song was Chelsea's ringtone. I thought it was cute, and she thought it was dumb. Partly because the version I had was the one Bing Crosby sings with the other dude, and partly because she didn't see the use for the song because she never called my phone. Never. She only texted.
I answered my phone and put it up to my ear. "Chelsea?"
I jumped back inside and raced down the stairs. Chelsea and Thaddeus were huddled in the corner of the room, grabbing onto windowsills and the carpet. I didn't get it at first, but then I realized something very obvious. The furniture was gone. I looked up and saw… well, I don't know how to explain it, but I might as well try.
It was like a hole in the ceiling, but it wasn't a hole in the ceiling. It was a hole in something else entirely, and it wasn't even a hole. In Discworld, Pratchett said that cold and silence weren’t the opposites of heat and sound, they were the absences of heat and sound. If a hole was the absence of substance, then this was the opposite of substance.
It wasn't a hole, or a gap in the ceiling, it was a big wad of dirty, glitzy, sparkly, purple and blue nothingness that had devoured the furniture in the living room, and if I didn't act quickly, it was going to get Chelsea… and Thaddeus.
I undid my belt and inched along the wall, trying to get as close as I could without falling into the Nothingness. It tugged at me, but all it succeeded in doing was eating the towel off of my head, sending my hair streaming up. Finally, I was close enough to them to do something. I flung the belt over to Chelsea. She caught it, and I pulled her around me to the wall. She ran over to the front door and ran outside. Smart.
"Thaddeus!" I shouted. "Grab on!" I swung the belt over, but Thaddeus didn't even try to grab it. "Thaddeus!"
"I can't!" he said.
"Yes you can!" I said. "Grab on!"
"Come on!" I said. I flung it over and he grabbed hold. I pulled him over and sighed with relief.
"We made it."
Just as I said it, the Nothingness roared and expanded. I felt weightless as I began to fall up, like a book dropped off a building, but in reverse. I was too shocked to even try to escape. The last thing I saw before the Nothingness gobbled me up was Thaddeus's face.
It was so cold, I felt like I was on fire. There was wind that whipped at me, beating the air out of my lungs, and I felt myself spinning as I fell and flew. Finally, it stopped. The night sky was beautiful, what I could see of it from between the clouds anyway. It was snowing too, little flakes that swirled around me as the asphalt ran up to meet me.
“Wait a second,” I said. Then, I realized I was falling. I screamed as I fell and hit pavement, and my last thought before I blacked out was something along the lines of 'it figures I die saving Periwinkle Butt-Sniffer'.