Gil pulled his car to a stop and stepped onto the curb, pressing down the lock on his 1983 green and faux-wood-paneled 1983 Chevy Citation with his palm. Taking a deep breath, he surveyed his surroundings, planning for what he had to do.
He took a step toward the house. A bunny nibbling on some clover at the edge of the yard hopped away. Gil wondered if any of those clovers were of the four-leaf variety. If ever there were a day when he needed luck, it was that fateful Saturday.
A cold breeze brushed swept across, causing him to reflexively reach up and make sure his fedora was in place. Before he confronted his nemesis, he had to be prepared, be calm and collected.
Realizing the time for delay was quickly passing, he hurried to the front door, walking past a convertible PT Cruiser before ringing the doorbell. He wasn’t expecting it to play Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Love.”
Lee answered the door. He was holding a tennis racket. “Come in, Gil, come in. Bridget and I just finished playing a few sets.” Gil noticed her standing in the living room, her racket laying on the back of the couch behind her.
“I trust you brought your checkbook, Gil.” “Not today, Lee, not today.”
The two men glared at one another before Gil, feeling his confidence swelling in his chest, said, “You see, my dear Lee, it’s all a matter of fractals, of evolving symmetry. It’s all about the numbers, about predicting what will happen next. In this case, the geometrical design favors me, despite what you might thing about me needing to hand over a check for $12.73.”
Before Lee could answer, Bridget chimed in. “Just pay us what you owe us. It’s not our fault the package didn’t arrive at your place. You should’ve taken out insurance. Our clients demand, and deserve, payment. Now get out your checkbook.”
Gil attempted to reply, but before he could, he was interrupted.
In case you were wondering h—
Me: I wasn’t
— Juliet Actually (@julietactually) February 9, 2017
Outside the house, Alexa walked in the street, wondering what the mathematical pattern held for her.
Me *about to get hit by a bus*
OH SHIT I’M NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER
— Alexa (@TheWoodenslurpy) May 10, 2016
Meanwhile, back inside, our intrepid hero informed the would-be heroine that he suspected it might come to that. She asked how he figured it out.
– A Biography
— Banana Graveyard (@bananagrvyrd) February 4, 2017
Also meanwhile, but across town, a subplot may have been forming. Will our narrator remember this subplot? Let’s find out!
Hot damn there’s a sale at the wicker store
— Jeff Newton (@yonewt) January 25, 2017
The sales clerk asked if he had any questions about the baskets and why he wasn’t paying attention to the festivities going on outside.
Parades are stupid.
— Sadie Smith 2.0 (@SadieSkyNinja) February 6, 2017
The bigger question was why the clerk was speaking so rapidly.
It’s “talk like an auctioneer day”! Well…it is for me anyway
— Böb El Diablo Jänke (@Bob_Janke) February 14, 2017
Little did Jeff know, he had a yarn to spin.
He had glitter on his Carhartts and we both knew the story would take longer to tell than our coffee break allowed-
— Al Dente (@six_2_and_even) December 20, 2016
In another exciting development, we discover that there was a yard sale going on next door to Lee and Bridget’s home. All reasonable offers considered.
How much for these pretty sword mittens?
Ma’am those are ice skates.
— Katrina (@EyeSeeYou619) October 22, 2016
Back inside the house, Gil ruminated upon his good fortune and how the noise of the yard sale would help mask any noise coming from inside the house.
Kid: Daddy, have you ever broken a window?
Dad: With my mind.
— Crow Magnum (@distracted_monk) February 12, 2017
He was getting a sense that his boldness might pay off.
The timeless elegance of a thinly veiled threat.
— BadFabergé (@ipalatsky) December 27, 2016
He locked eyes with Bridget, drawing upon the hours of practice he’d undertaken with his raccoon sidekick.
[practicing eye contact]
Some must suffer for the greater good. It’s fundamental.
— Unwarranted (@_Aynne_) February 1, 2017
His confidence was tempered; his thoughts fixed on all possible outcomes.
There’s a solid chance my tombstone will say, “That did not go well.”
— Mr. Bea Arthur (@FuckabillyRex) February 12, 2017
He grabbed the tennis racket from Lee’s hand and boldly smashed a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers sitting on a table in the foyer. Lee lunged backwards, taking Bridget with him.
Stop running away when I AM TRYING TO LOVE YOU.
— Shan Fiction (@dayumsel) February 12, 2017
The thing was, Bridget exclaimed.
Sorry man I only have room in my heart for one thing: lots and lots of blood
— Stephanie (@stephanidek) November 3, 2016
Gil gasped and pointed out the window. A Burt Reynolds lookalike pulled up next door, looking for a new decoration for his ride.
Officer: I’m not sure your hood ornament is in code
Me: Really? I used Liquid Nails®
*glued down falcon violently thrashes about*
— Staçienera (@girl_a_whirl) April 2, 2016
Bridget was having none of it. She reiterated her threats.
I love my man to pieces.
And now there’s a huge mess to clean up.
— Jawbreaker (@sixfootcandy) February 14, 2017
The Burt Reynolds lookalike haggled over some flatware. His date, unperturbed by his choice of activities, attempted to lighten the mood with humor.
If life was a bowl of soup, I’d be a fork.
— Goddess Of Mischief™ (@AsgardianRose) February 12, 2017
It was at this moment that Jeff cruised by on a Segway, a plethora of wicker baskets in hand. He decided to see what else he might get a good deal on. He made eye contact with the fork.
You + Me = Titanic + Iceberg
— ThisOneSays (@ThisOneSayz) February 13, 2017
She took his breath away and he careened off the road, falling off his Segway. His pet llama, Randy, go loose and took off. Jeff called after him.
If you need me, I’ll be laying in the ditch.
— FяαggłeRø¢κL490 (@FraggleRockL490) February 13, 2017
Ever the optimist, he didn’t let a loose llama and being face-down in a ditch cause him to despair.
if you love something, set it free. If it immediately bites your throat and drags you up a tree, you love a leopard and should try to escape
— huntigula (@huntigula) February 10, 2014
Back at the negotiations for the flatware, the fork offered another seemingly random statement.
I’m just like Mary Poppins, only horrible.
— Valerie (@ValeeGrrl) February 10, 2017
Remember the girl who got hit by the bus? Guess who Jeff noticed next to him.
Alright, okay, let’s get this over with already.
Me, to death.
— MomofTeen (@MomofTeen) February 7, 2017
Meanwhile, back in the main plotline, Bridget laid down a marker.
My hips don’t lie, but you can’t trust a thing my elbows say.
— Cam (@GinAndJif) February 10, 2017
He should probably narrate this story, or “story,” too, to be quite honest.
Really though, Bobcat Goldthwait should narrate my life
— DruPacalypse (@D2BMcG) January 10, 2017
Bridget continued, though no one knew what she was talking about. Burt’s date, though, she turned her head towards the house and nodded knowingly.
Like the hitchhiker I keep in my basement, cacti make great houseguests only needing a little water each month
— GogglePossum (@gogglepossum) February 9, 2017
Lee, attempting to help, interjected.
One time I got possessed by one of the Pac Man ghosts and punched a lemon custard pie with one slice missing.
— Ray (@SirEviscerate) February 11, 2017
Then he added.
I have several high profile citizens arrests pending:)
— Justin (@ThePocketJustin) February 13, 2017
Gil, sensing another moment of opportunity, offered a taunt.
Suzi’s playing bocce
Brad is playing tennis
No one plays with Meghan
cuz Meghan is a menace
— taffy bennington (@singwithTaffy) February 1, 2017
As Bridget lunged, he went there. He got pedantic.
Killer with knife to my throat: it’s ironic how you’re about to die in your living room.
Me: actually, that’s not really what ironic means.
— pony starwars (@tigersgoroooar) November 14, 2014
The pair tussled, knocking over drinkware and vases. Then, a burst of glass sprayed across the room. A llama stood staring, holding a wicker basket in its mouth. The doorbell rang and it began to bob its head.
Flirting is hard. Instead let’s get to know one another via improvised interpretive dance battles.
— Olive U (@offbeatoliv) February 14, 2017
In this version, there’s also a llama.
I want to enter every room with a choreographed dance, and 3 random people start dancing behind me.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
— Aimee Helene (@AimeeHelene1) February 15, 2017
In the living room, with a tennis racket, a llama, some backup dancers.
I haven’t murdered anyone thus far, but it may be enough to know I could.
— Kimtopher (@kimtopher22) February 16, 2017
But Gil wasn’t going down without a fight. Drawing upon his knowledge of “Soul Train,” he called for a line. Burt’s date had wandered in by now, plus Jeff and Alexa. “Let’s get funky,” said Gil. “My plots demand it.”
It’s called a burial “plot” cuz it took some serious scheming to get you in it.
— VnT (@Vodkantots) February 12, 2017
I keep using that word “plot,” but I’m not sure it means what I think it means.
My greatest regret is that I never learned lingo. I’ve never even been to lingo.
— Boyd’s Backyard™ (@TheBoydP) February 8, 2017
The three struggled, Jeff and Alexa sat down, the llama did llama shit, and Burt’s date offered the strangest narration ever.
It makes me sad when I see a pair of underwear in the 7-11 parking lot cuz I used to be fun like that.
— Ivsy (@Ivsy01) September 25, 2015
Upon hearing those words, Gil, Lee, and Bridget realized the folly of their dispute and resolved to settle the matter in an even more ridiculous way.
I read about a small Austrian town hiring a part-time hermit and thought ‘Finally a job I’m qualified for that doesn’t require references.’
— EricaTriesToTweet (@SteussieErica) January 14, 2017
Just then, Not Burt Reynolds crashed through the front door and power-slid to a stop. He winked at his date, who hopped in through the window. Jeff and Alexa joined them. Now, there was no one left but the three, plus the llama.
[ after getting on a sled tied to a mountain goat ]
“Now, go off and do mountain goat things just like you normally would.”
— Rev Thurl Ravenscrof (@2tickytacky) February 9, 2017
They decided to clean up before continuing their skirmish.
This honey-sage goat’s milk soap doesn’t lather well. Happily, my anger should dissipate before breakfast.
— Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) February 10, 2017
Tomorrow was Sunday, after all.
Sunday is a day of rest but I practice hard on Saturdays so I’ll be good at it.
— Graceful AF (@graceful_asfuck) February 11, 2017
It was then that Bridget spoke, not to Lee, but also not to Gil. No, she was looking at the llama.
“I love you,” she threatened
— lunaticminge (@majesticminge) December 23, 2016
It ran away and the three remembered they were angry. Weapons were drawn.
A duel where you choose your own weapon. I pick the Restoration Hardware catalog.
— Rachel Noise (@Rachelnoise) December 13, 2016
I guess that’s pretty much what’s going on at this point.
You live without love so long, a whole lifetime maybe, that it can seem like a home invasion when it comes knocking.
— TattleTaleSister (@TattleTSister) February 10, 2017
Bridget flung the catalog at Gil, who hurled a tennis racket at Lee, who threw a pillow at the llama, who nuzzled up to Bridget. They knew there was no resolution to their situation and began to back away from one another, slowly.
“Did the fractals predict this, Gil?,” Lee inquired. Gil smiled and pulled a leash and a handful of hay from under his fedora. As he fed the llama hay, he attached the leash to its collar. It was his now.
“Yes, they did predict this. You were just unwilling to see the patterns, the connections.” He tossed an envelope, one containing $12.73 on the coffee table, which was laying upside down but whatever, and headed toward the door. Placing the llama in the backseat, he tipped his hat toward the confused pair and said his goodbyes.
Not sure what had happened and why their house had been destroyed over not-quite $13, Lee and Bridget scratched their heads and tried to figure out the situation. All they knew was that they had been beaten by the best. And the best started his car. It backfired, and headed down the road.
Don’t bring an arrow to a gunfight. You’ll lose.
— Trudacious (@Trudacious) February 14, 2017