Author: dark_blu a.k.a. Liane
Rating: PG 13 for intense themes, mild violence, sexual correlation and some bad language.
Annie confusedly and frantically ran and got a Sharpie pen from off the dingy kitchen counter and began scrawling the 1-800 number down her ashy leg.
“What is going on again?” a puzzled Annie asked,
“I am going to meet Elijah Wood,” Lucie said with an odd tone of airy confidence in her voice.
Annie looked at her older sister strangely. “I don’t necessarily think this obsession is healthy—“ Annie chided.
“HEALTHY. At this point in my life, who gives a fuck. I’ll probably die of AIDS or second hand smoke…at this point of my life…” Lucie trailed off.
Annie raised a single brow to her sister. “Whatever, Luce. What do I have to do for this…this…what the hell is this? Radio show?”
“I dunno, call,” Lucie said indifferently. “I’ll write a spiel for you and you just follow it…enthusiastically and positively,” Lucie said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“You know Luce, I really bend over backwards for you.”
“I know Anners. I love ya for it too.” Lucie replied. “I’d better get down to business if I want to win this contest,” Lucie sighed as she got up off her beaten mattress, uncoiling herself from the soiled comforter.
“Lucie I do believe that you are the most dedicated and in-love fan that Elijah has ever had, and possibly will ever have. If you love him as much as I think you do, there is no contest.”
“Thanks babe,” Lucie said with a wink as she trotted out of her room and into the office.
Hours later Lucie emerged with a stack of papers having the appearance of a script. Lucie waved the script in front of Annie’s face proudly.
“Ha! I revised, edited, revised and edited as much as I possibly could, and this strained and picked through script is what I have come out with, and I am confident that it will get me to Elijah.” Lucie said, accomplished.
“Well, glad you think so. Let me read over it.” Annie said tiredly as she put on her reading glasses. About 20 minutes later Annie looked up quizzically at Lucie, “Is this all true?” Annie inquired.
“As true as true could be. As true as Rob is an alcoholic and Barb is mentally unstable. As sure as the bruises across our backs from Rob beating us with the pieces of the old bed frame,” Lucie illustrated.
For awhile Annie said nothing at all, and then she looked up at Lucie and sighed. “If it will make you happy…”
“Oh it would ever so much!” Lucie joked in a British accent, pushing her sister playfully.
“Jolly good then,” Annie replied ruefully.
Annie called the 1-800 number, which seemed to be constantly busy, for two more hours that night. No one had picked up the phone when it rang, and all the other times she had called all Annie heard was an obnoxious busy tone on the other end.
“This is hopeless,” Annie said, exhaustedly. “Can we PLEASE go to bed now?”
“No. We have to get through, tonight. As soon as possible. If we wait, it might be too late…”
“I’m sure that they will be taking calls tomor—“
“NO. Tonight. I will sleep better if I know that I am in,” Lucie said.
“Well you probably won’t find out tonight any—“
“Well obviously Annie,” Lucie cut in a second time, “But at least I will rest better on the fact that I gave it a shot and that it was listened to, recorded and taken into account when judging all the applicants to meet ‘Lij.”
Just then, Annie heard a ring on the receiving end. “It’s ringing again,” Annie replied dismally. “Don’t get your hopes up. It rang before. No one ever answers it.”
Lucie had begun to pout and Annie, afraid that she would be a catalyst to one of her sister’s infamous fits, stopped all negative connotations with the contest immediately.
“…Well, maybe someone will ans—“ Annie stopped. “Hello? Yes, yes! Yes my name is…Yeah, for meeting…uh huh… Yeah my name is Annie and I want to nominate…California…yes…Wait but you don’t understand, we have been calling and calling--… well yes I know that a lot of people want to but--…LISTEN FUCKFACE!” Annie suddenly screamed in the telephone. Lucie looked around, shocked with her sister’s immediate rage. “MY SISTER IS SICK, OKAY? WHAT IF SHE FUCKING DIED TOMORROW? SHE LOVES ELIJAH WOOD, AND ALL SHE WANTS TO DO BEFORE SHE FUCKING DIES IS TO MEET FUCKING ELIJAH WOOD. YEAH, SHE’S REALLY SICK SO IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT THEN THAT’S REALLY FUCKED UP—“ Annie stopped, listened, mumbles some “uh-huhs”, read the script convincingly, and hung up.
Annie looked sullenly at Lucie, shaking her head. “YOU’RE IN! THEY ARE GOING TO CONSIDER YOU!” Annie then screamed. Lucie squealed with delight and hugged her sister tightly. “Originally they said that nominations were already closed, but after I told them your situation naturally they consented—“
“My situation? Oh Gah Annie what did you tell them exactly? Now these people think I am on a cancerous death bed or something. Personally, I think the only reason that they considered me is because you called that fucker out,” Lucie said, laughing.
Annie blushed. “Yeah, well, I just did what I had to do.” Lucie squeezed Annie’s arm and beamed one of her biggest, brightest most genuine smiles directly into her sister’s face.
“I love you, you know that?” Lucie said.
“I know, I know,” Annie said, smiling.
A week after the interview with Annie, the contest sponsors sent a letter to the Verone residence.
Dear Ms. Lucie Verone,
We are excited to announce that you have been chosen to spend an entire day with Elijah Wood! Below are the rules and guidelines that you will need to review before meeting with Mr. Wood. You will then be required to sign several agreements, documents, consent forms, and privacy contracts. After all the documentation is completed and presented, a scheduled time will be arranged for yours and Mr. Wood’s “date”. You will spend an entire day with Mr. Wood going to several pre-arranged places, doing already scheduled activities. You and Mr. Wood will be traveling in the company’s limousine to and from these selected locations. All expenses that will occur in this trip are prepaid by our company for you. Your “date” with Elijah Wood will begin at 9:00a.m. and end at 7:00p.m. We ask that you please do not bring any recording devices or cameras with you on the date. You will be searched for these items as well as potentially dangerous items before your date with Mr. Wood. By going on this date you are agreeing to any security measures that we may have. You may pick the day you meet Elijah Wood. You can either select to meet him Friday, Saturday or Sunday of next week. If you have any questions you can call the number listed below and talk to one of the company’s advisors…”
Lucie stared at the letter in disbelief. She felt as if everything inside her was coming to a boil and she felt that her ears might start blowing steam at any minute, just like a cartoon. After waiting the atrocious week, Lucie couldn’t wait to get some kind of notice, whether it be one of approval or rejection, however Lucie had no idea that the response would come so soon. Lucie quietly laughed to herself as she wondered if her “condition” had anything to do with her winning the contest. Lucie began thinking further about the contest, and how strange it was that you could basically get a date with Elijah Wood through this agency if your story was pathetic enough. Certain aspects of the contest didn’t add up, and Lucie became uncertain if any of this was really legit.
After a great while of pondering both the agency and the letter, Lucie decided that it was safe to let her emotions run wild and be happy about winning the contest. She hadn’t broken then news to Annie yet, because it was still a large load to take in herself. Lucie thanked God profusely for letting her have this opportunity for a life time. She also thanked God that she got to the mail before Barb did, or else she would have certainly never seen the letter.
“Truly I am Cinderella,” Lucie said aloud to herself as she allowed to be whisked away by ideas of romance, love and lust connecting her and Elijah Wood. Lucie fell on her bed and lay facing her ceiling. She couldn’t stop the contagious grin that was spreading across her face. Lucie’s hands crept down inside her button-fly flares as she lied and dreamt about the hopefully sensual night she would spend with Elijah one day…
Lucie awoke after a couple of hours, realizing that she still had the letter in her hand and hadn’t told Annie a thing about it! Lucie rushed towards her sister’s room and busted open the door, only to find her sister crying silently. Lucie was puzzled until Annie raised her head, revealing a startling crimson mark that sprayed across the beautiful girl’s face. Lucie gaped at Annie for a moment, and then rushed to her side to put her arms around her.
“Shh, shh, Annie it will be okay…I will never let him hurt you again…Never never…Annie no…I am so sorry I wasn’t there this time, it was just…well… I was asleep…I didn’t even hear him… Oh Annie I am so, so sorry I wasn’t there. I promise I will be there next time and for every future instance to come…Oh, Annie…” Lucie whispered into her sister’s ear as Lucie herself began to tear up. Lucie held Annie close for the next two hours, rocking back and forth burying her nose in her sister’s hair.
Lucie sat bolt upright, becoming aware that she was still in Annie’s bed and the two must have fallen asleep. She nudged Annie, who rolled over and off of Lucie’s arm, which was now beginning to tingle. Lucie noted the crumpled letter in her right hand and realized she still hadn’t told Annie.
“I should let her sleep,” Lucie said to herself. It was 9:00a.m. Sunday morning and nobody had bothered to wake Lucie and Annie for church. This was probably due to the fact that Lucie and Annie were the only members of the family to actually attend the services other than Easter morning, where the whole family reluctantly put on a façade for the community. Lucie ran her cold fingers across Annie’s warm cheek, over the large bruise and broken blood vessels spreading across her face. Annie flinched slightly and batted at her sister’s hand before turning over on the marred face and burying it in her pillow. Lucie sighed and looked at the window at another gray morning, filled with cold, crisp air and menacing looking clouds. Lucie crawled out of Annie’s bed and down the hall. She could hear Barb’s disgusting sleeping noises that included random curse words and heavy snoring. She heard Rob’s denchers clattering together as he brushed them in the bathroom. “Sick,” Lucie commented, wrinkling her nose. Lucie entered her room and pulled back her hair in a simple pony tail, and pulled a well-worn cowl neck sweater over her head and looked reluctantly in her shattered mirror. “Ugh”, Lucie groaned as she scanned her reflection. “Disgusting”, Lucie then whispered as she carefully took down the cracked mirror and placed it behind her dresser. She got up, exchanged her button-flies for some drawstring sweats and sauntered back down the hall, letter still in hand. She needed to wake Annie.
“Annie, wake up…” Lucie cooed as she gently caressed her sister’s brow. Annie didn’t flinch. “Annie,” Lucie repeated. Still nothing. Lucie grabbed the purple spray bottle next to Annie’s bed and began to spray lukewarm water into her sister’s face, all the while trying to stifle her giggles.
“WHAT THE—“, Annie barked. When she realized it was Lucie playing a joke on her, she shoved her pillow into Lucie’s face, knocking her backwards and nearly off the bed. “What time is it?” A sleepy Annie quipped.
“Around nine. We can still get to church on time if we scrub it today.” Lucie commented.
“Yeah, sure, okay.” Annie said sleepily, grabbing a local band hoodie that hung from her bed frame.
“Meet me in the car. We can get bagels afterwards or something.” Lucie said as she exited her sister’s room, grabbing her keys.
“Alright. Give me 5,” Annie mumbled.
Soon both sisters were sitting in Annie’s Toyota Camry and headed towards their church. Lucie uncrumpled the letter from her clammy palm and threw it into Annie’s lap with a grin.
“Well, go ahead. Take a look.”
“What is this?”
“What do you think it is?” Lucie said, still smiling uncontrollably.
“Oh my gosh when did you—“, Annie broke herself off, racing to unfold the now-soiled letter and began to read it hungrily. After she was finished, she threw the letter in the backseat and gave her sister a gut-wrenching hug, causing Lucie to nearly swerve into the left-hand turn lane. “I can’t believe you actually WON! Well, I mean, yeah I can but I—WOW that’s wonderful Luce I don’t even know what to say! Well, I guess I’ll start off with WHEN are you going to see him?!” Annie was nearly panting with excitement now.
“I think on Saturday,” Lucie said calmly. “You made sure you spend the night at Carissa’s or Noelee’s, OK?”
“I can’t believe you are thinking about nighttime arrangements for ME when you are going to be going on a date with Elijah WOOD! Who gives a shit about ME right now!?” Annie said incredulously.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Lucie said with a look of half horror half laughter on her face. “You are my only family so you better be damn sure I’m taking care of my wittle Anners!” As Lucie said that last line she pinched her sister’s cheek jokingly and gave her a kiss on the forehead.
“You ARE amazing, you know that,” Annie said, still shaking her head in disbelief.