Translation Notes in the description!
As much as Sadee and I would've loved to see Johnny all dressed up in what was probably an epic costume bought by the twins, we both held firm in saying that it was his choice to do so.
Of course, that by no means meant we weren't going to try to persuade him to wear it...
When the door opened to apartment number 21, Johnny had to suppress the strong urge to scream, for on the other side of the door was a green-skinned alien with completely red eyes and dark blue hair.
It bore a striking resemblance to Mercedes.
He took a deep breath. "Mercedes...?" He asked hesitantly.
The alien grinned, revealing rows of sharp, pointed teeth. "Ah, Hallo, Johnny," she said. "Keine schlechte Kostum, huh?"
Johnny sighed. "Why are you speaking in German?" He asked. Mercedes shrugged. "Ich bin ein illegaler Auslander," she replied. "Und es macht Spaß." She stepped aside to let him in.
Johnny hadn't understood a word she'd just said. "So I guess Day One is German aliens?"
Mercedes grin widened. "Haha, nein, nein, mein Freund. Warten bis Sie sehen Laura."
He shook his head and stepped inside. Then he saw Laura sitting at the kitchen table.
"What the FUCK happened to you?!" He shouted.
Her left arm was in a sling, he neck covered in finger-shaped bruises and her left eye swollen and dark. Her right arm was wrapped in white bandages and there was a gauze pad taped to her left cheek.
But she was smiling.
"You like it?" She asked. "It took me forever to get the bruises on my neck just right. Does it look real enough?" Her voice was light and she was grinning from ear to ear.
Johnny cleared his throat. "It's...very realistic," he replied. "So realistic I might be taken in by a police officer if we were seen together outside."
"Ich habe dir gesagt, weniger detailliert!" Shouted Mercedes. Laura scowled at her.
"I'll add some obviously fake blood then. There, happy?"
Mercedes shook her head. "Es werde zu tun haben," she muttered.
Laura nodded, then looked back at Johnny. "So, what d'ya wanna do today?" She asked perkily.
Johnny sighed. "You invited me over with no plan in mind?"
"Ich habe dir gesagt habe etwas geplant," muttered Mercedes.
"Oh hush, Goose," snapped Laura. "You should be used to that by now, Johnny. I close to never plan ahead."
"Wir konnten in die Bibliothek gehen," suggested Mercedes.
"Oh yeah," said Laura. "I haven't been there in a while...is it open on Sundays?" She directed the question at Johnny.
*I don't even know what Mercedes just said...* "Is what open? I don't understand German..."
"Oh." Laura cocked her head to the side. "She said we could go to the library. Is the library here open on Sundays?"
"I'm not too sure, but we could go and check," he suggested.
"Sweet," said Laura. "I just gotta go and put on some super-fake blood."
She got up and walked to the bathroom.
Mercedes sidled closer to Johnny. "Sie," she began. "Brauchen also nicht Deutsch verstehen, eh?"
As it turned out, the library was open on Sundays. Lucky us, cuz I had no idea what we would've done if it weren't.
"Man, I love this place," I whispered. Out of many of the crappy places in this town, the huge and beautiful library was a wonderful contrast.
"This place is soooo cool," whispered Sadee in German.
On this outside, it was a boring grey-stoned building. But on the inside...
The insides where built using a combination of grey stone and dark woods, giving it the odd feeling of warmth. There were floors of books upon books, making me feel immediately at home. Our reflections shone clearly in the smooth marble floor, and the loudest sounds were the soft whispers of pages turning or quiet inquiries at the information desks.
I wandered off in a random direction and drifted off into my own world.
"Ah, wo hast Laura gehen?" Asked Mercedes.
Johnny may not understand German, but the idea got through. He looked around.
Laura was gone.
"Wir mussen die madchen an der Leine zu halten," the girl muttered.
"I find myself agreeing with whatever you just said," Johnny replied.
"Gut. Ich bin froh," she said.
Johnny sighed. "C'mon, we may as well go look for her," he said. "But could you lay off the German just for a little bit? I don't have an interpreter anymore..."
"Haah, fiiiine," she relented. "Ya know, I bet she's in the mythology section," she suggested. "Her obsession with dragons and what-not would drag her there."
Johnny nodded. "Alright, let's go."
"Ah, you're looking for the girl dressed up like she got jumped? Yeah, she just left here. She was carrying four of five HUGE books with her."
Johnny sighed. "Yep, that's who we're looking for..."
Mercedes stared at the man. "Did you see where she went...?" She asked.
The man shrugged. "I think she might've gone to the Zoology section." Then he snickered. "But...what's with that getup? Isn't it a little early for Hallowe'en?"
Mercedes glared lightly at him. "Dude, for all you know, I could easily rip out your kidneys without even touching you," she snapped.
*Heheh, that would be interesting,* thought Johnny.
The man held up his hands in front of him. "Hey, hey, don't get nasty. Just asking a question." His gaze traveled over Johnny. "But by the looks of it, all three of you are a little early for the spook-fest."
Johnny was immediately became pissed-off at the man.
"Let's go, Mercedes," he said. "And thank you," he added to the asshole.
I walked towards the stairs from the Zoology section, carrying away a few books on reptiles and the anatomies of flying creatures. *History section, here I come...*
"Okay, so you did see a girl dressed up like that," asked Mercedes.
The lady at the Zoology information desk sighed. "Yes, I did," she responded. "She asked for some books on creatures of flight and reptiles. I thought she was really hurt, but the large red smears on her arms were very much fake."
Johnny sighed. "Is she still around here?" He asked.
The lady shook her head. "I'm afraid she left here just a little while ago," she replied.
*Damn that girl moves fast.*
"She went in the direction of the stairs."
"What's up there?" Asked Mercedes.
The lady tapped her chin. "History, mostly. I think there's also some language books and such up there."
Mercedes thanked the woman and they set off towards the stairs.
"Which section do you think she's in?" Asked Johnny.
Mercedes shrugged. "Knowing Laura, it could be anything from the Dark Ages to the late 1930's. As long as it's not American history...besides the early 20th century."
Johnny groaned. "So she could be anywhere up there..."
Mercedes nodded. "Yep. Goddammit, Laura..."
As I walked away from the history section, my nose started to twitch. "Ah....ACHIEW!!!" I sneezed. A few of the browsers glared at me, but other than that, no reaction. "Huh...some-one must be talking about me," I mused. "Oh, and that info-man was nice." The kind man had given me a bag for the books I was carrying and pointed me in the direction of my next goal. "Ugh, but more stairs?" I groaned, then shrugged. "Ah, whatevs. Ah, I still have one more stop to make..." Then I yawned. "Ack, but I'm getting tired..."
After wandering around the second floor of the library for an hour, Johnny was getting quite irritated. "Mercedes, I hate to say this, but this is your fault," he muttered.
Mercedes gave him an offended look. "Why do you say that?" she asked.
"It was your idea to come here," he reminded her.
She grinned at him sheepishly. "Ah, riiight..."
They walked up to the information desk and asked the man behind it if he'd seen Laura.
"Oh, the girl with the weird hair? Yeah, she went down to the basement about half and hour ago," he said.
Mercedes stared at him blankly. "There's...a basement," she repeated.
The man nodded. "Yes, she was asking about old histories and fantastical fiction books. I gave her a bag for the other books she was carrying and pointed her towards the stairs to the basement. Does that help at all?"
"One question," Johnny began. "Are there, by any chance, any other floors in this library?"
The man laughed quietly and shook his head. "I can see you've been searching all over for her," he chuckled. Johnny and Mercedes nodded tiredly. "Well, no need to worry. There're only three floors. If she went to the basement, she's probably still there. And," he added, holding up one finger. "There are very few people down there, so it'll be alright if you raise your voices."
Mercedes let out a breath. "Well, that actually helps us a lot," she said. "Thank you."
The man chuckled again. "Not a problem. By the way, very interesting outfit."
Mercedes smiled. "Thaaank you."
Then they walked off in the direction of the basement stairs.
"Haaaah..." I sighed, plopping into a comfortable chair in a corner. "Man, I'm glad that guy gave me a bag. There're sooooo many cool books here..." I let out another sigh. "But man, I'm tired..."
Then a thought occurred to me. "Uh...maybe I should've told Sadee and Nny where I went..." I yawned. "Ah, well...too late now..." I stretched. "I think I'll rest a bit before going back up..."
I slipped off my shoes and curled up in the chair.
Then I slipped into the oblivion that is sleep.
I was looking at the paintings of Harajrha and Anatarian. They seemed angry, but Johnny's beasty painting seemed to be angrier. Suddenly, Harajrha peeled off of the canvas and twisted, it's bright red tail stuck within the painting like some scaley and leathery umbilical cord. It hovered in the air, it's orange eyes gleaming with madness. Anatarian tore itself off it's own canvas and lurked close to the ground, it's dark blue wings held tightly, lilac eyes overflowing with fear and...sadness?
Harajrha lunged at Anatarian's neck...
And I was shaken awake.
I opened my eyes to see Mercedes glaring down at me with her bright red eyes. "Ugh..." I yawned. "Who're you callin' a stupid-head?" I grumbled.
She glowered at me. "Who do you think?" She asked sarcastically. "We've been looking for you for 2 and a half hours. 2 and a half! Dammit, Laura..."
Johnny was wandering down one of the isles, examining titles on the shelves.
"Has it really been that long...?" I asked. She nodded. "Ugh, what time is it?"
Mercedes pulled out a pocket-watch- a silver one that I'd given her for Christmas one year. "It's about 4:30," she replied.
I sat up and slipped my feet into my shoes. "Sorry about that, Goose," I said. Johnny walked over with a book under his arm. "And sorry for vanishing, Johnny. Libraries..." I waved a hand in the air. "I really can get lost in them."
He nodded and smirked. "Yeah, well, at least give us a warning next time," he said. "This library is enormous, and you...are very small."
I stood up and stuck my tongue out at him. "I am small, okay?" I retorted. He just chuckled again.
"Are we all set here?" He asked. "I'm kind of getting sick of being in one place."
I sighed and nodded. "Yeah, okay..."
I gathered up my books and, after Johnny and I checked our books out, we left the library.
"Ich bin ein krapfen!" Exclaimed Mercedes randomly.
"Nein, ICH bin ein krapfen!" Retorted Laura.
"Nein, du bist MEIN krapfen!" Shouted Mercedes.
Johnny shook his head. They'd gone through this routine before; apparently, Mercedes had called herself a donut, Laura had said no, she was a donut, after which Mercedes claimed that Laura was her donut.
"Johnny ist ein roter Drache!" Said Laura.
Johnny stared at the sky. *I'm not even going to ask...*
They were sitting in the apartment's living room, chatting and/or reading.
"Johnny ist ein blauer Fisch!"
"Mercedes, did you just call me a fish?" He asked. She nodded. "Ja, sie sind ein blauer Fisch."
He sighed. "That's...good to know..."
The girls stopped chattering and they all set back to reading.
The twins came barging into the living-room.
Dressed as M&Ms.
"Hey, what's up you guys?" Asked Tanya, who was a red M&M.
"Did you have fun leaving us behind?" Asked Lacey, the green M&M.
Mercedes snorted. "Nur wen du meinst ermudend," she said.
"ENGLISH," commanded the twins.
Mercedes sighed. "I said 'only if you mean tiring.' We ended up losing this one," she nodded at Laura. "In the middle of the library. Went looking for her for 2 and a half hours."
The twins snickered. "That's Laura," commented Lacey.
Johnny sighed and stood up. "I think I'll head out, now," he said.
Laura gave him a disappointed look, but nodded. "Gettin' a little too crowded, eh?" She asked.
He shrugged. "Yeah, a little."
The girls smiled and Mercedes and Laura waved good-bye. "See-ya, Johnny," called Mercedes.
Johnny walked out of the apartment and sighed. *Man, those girls are draining...*
Then he walked to his car and drove home.
I curled up into a little ball on my bed, reading about dreams.
I wanted to know why I kept dreaming about Johnny killing me.