Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Finding the frog was supposed to be the easy part

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“Finding the frog was supposed to be the easy part,” she muttered as the branch her friend released hit her in the face and she swore vehemently.
“What’s that, Beth?” her friend asked.
“The frog! The damn frog!” she exclaimed as she tried to lift her feet from the cloying mud.
“I know, right? How hard can it be to find a frog in a swamp?” Her usually klutzy friend Lori, seemed to be navigating the swamp with much more ease. She delicately pushed the hanging moss out of her face.
“Oh, no but this is a special frog,” Beth whined.
“Well it doesn’t talk like the ones in the movies or the variety shows, but it is meant to be special.”
She gaped at Lori. “Oh, my God... you believe it?”
“That this thing can work.”
“The old lady said it could.”
“And you believe everything old ladies tell you?”
She shrugged. “Well... no... but she seemed very clear about it, and if you don’t believe, why the heck are we taking this stroll through the swamp?”
Beth shrugged. “Last ditch effort?” she asked.
“If you don’t believe in it, it will never work. Magic requires conviction.”
Silence as they both searched the undergrowth. Lori was searching with much less effort than Beth.
“So we catch it when we find it?” Lori checked.
“Yep. She gave me something to put it in.”
“And then what?”
“I don’t know... she boils it up in a tea or some potion for me to drink.”
“That seems kind of cruel,” Lori mumbled.
Beth hadn’t missed her comment. “What do you care? It’s a frog.”
“Frogs are important. They are like the barometers of environmental change.”
“Good God! Who have you been talking to?”
“I know about environmental change,” Lori defended.
Beth snorted. “Since when?”
She grinned at her friend. “Since that cute eco warrior dude I ran into at that protest. The guy with the dreads.”
“You lied to me.” Beth’s eyes narrowed. “You said you did not have sex with him.”
Lori rolled her eyes. “I knew you’d get all moral on me.”
“Moral? It’s not moral to want to get to know a guy before you have sex with him! You met him that day.”
“Oh, right... says the girl who is in the swamp looking for the ingredients for a love potion.” She said love with several vowels and extra r’s. Luuuurvv.
Beth’s mouth shut with a snap.
“And I got to know him just fine,” added Lori. She sighed happily.
“Ugh,” Beth grunted and pretended that she was searching under a log. “Bet you’ve never seen him again,” she muttered.
Lori stifled a laugh and that just made her friend more annoyed.
“You could help me, instead of standing there laughing at me,” she griped.
“Fine. What colour was it again?”
“Blue; bright blue with black markings.”
Lori tilted her head, reached out both hands and carefully scooped up the small blue and black frog that had landed on her friend’s back. She took several steps back, her hands cradled in front of her chest, and then announced, “I’ve got it.”
“REALLY? Aack,” she complained as she banged her head on the log. “Let me see.”
Shaking her head, Lori drew her hands away protectively. “No. You’ll hurt him-” She peered into her clasped hands. “-and he’s such a cute frog.”
Snort. “How do you know it is a ‘he’?”
“I know a fine male when I see one.”
“Whatever.” She shook out the bag from her pocket. “Hand him over.”
“No. I don’t want him to be boiled.”
“It’s what we came for.”
“I know. But I've changed my mind.”
She ignored her and held out the bag. “Put him in here. And I can’t believe I called it a him.”
“No. Look at him! He’s adorable.” And she kissed the frog.
“Ugh! Are you kissing that?” Beth looked horrified.
There was an odd silence followed by a weird buzzing hum. The air felt statically charged. Lori dropped the frog. Beth wailed as she saw it start to fall. But it stopped and hung in the air.
And then there was a loud pop; like a balloon bursting.
A tall, dark skinned man stood in front of Lori. He looked almost as surprised as she did but then his face softened and he stared at Lori with a look of wonder before he grabbed her hands. “Thank you,” he said.
“Wow.” Lori blinked. “I kissed the frog.”
“Yes, you did.” His voice was low and throaty.
“Aack! He’s naked!” Beth protested.
“He’s gorgeous,” Lori corrected. She glanced down and then made a small happy sound. “Ha. I can definitely pick a fine male when I see one.”
“I am so thankful,” he crooned to her.
“How thankful?” she asked. She leaned towards him and brushed a fingertip seductively down his bicep.
“Seriously?” Beth snapped. “Are you kidding me?”
“Hey, he’s mine. I kissed the frog and I believed.”
“That’s how it works,” he added.
“No boiling,” said Lori. “I knew there wouldn’t be boiling.”
“No.” His arm reached around her hip and pulled her in against him.
“Oooh,” Lori hummed as their faces got closer together.
“Ahhh! Sex? Here?” Beth screamed. “I am not watching this!” They ignored her. “I am going back to the car.” She took a final glance at them before she made another frustrated noise, waved her arms around and then tried to stomp off through the swamp. It wasn’t successful because they were too busy kissing to even notice her leave, the mud did not allow adequate noisy stomping and after some minutes progress, she had to stop. “Which way is the damned car?” she shouted.
No response, unless you counted a breathy moan.
“Oh, my God,” Beth swore.
“Can you grow dreadlocks?” she heard Lori ask before she stomped away again. She sat on a log that she hoped was bug free and put her fingers in her ears.
“Is she going the right way?” he asked Lori.
“No... and anyway, I have the keys.”
He laughed.
“Oh I like the sound of that laugh.”
“Just as well; you’re stuck with me.”
“Are you, by any chance a prince?”
“Sadly, no.”
“No problem. I rather not have a prince.” She kissed him quickly. “I am willing to bet that you’re an environmentalist.”
“Frogs are important,” he said with a grin.
“Don’t I know it!”
© AM Gray 2014

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