A Work Of Mild Fiction

A semi-autobiographical rambling I came up with back in 2009. Follow our hero (me, of course) as she navigates the strange and exciting world of share-house living. Featuring a cast of lovable oddballs and told in adorably disjointed prose.

Written by B. Phillips

——-

I stared. The dame in the mirror stared back. I tossed my head, she tossed hers (not in a gay way).

Looking good,  Bridgey, I thought to myself, admiring the way my hair cascaded over pale shoulders, teasingly revealing just a hint of firm, supple breasts beneath the flowing locks. I eyed the rest of my reflection. Long, smooth legs, slim, taut stomach… Yes sir. Things were looking good. I slid a hand down, inching towards-

“Bridget!” A voice startled me, and I fell to the floor in a tangle of limbs. “Are you molesting the mannequin again?”

 I had to admit, the evidence was against me. I shot a guilty glance to the corner of the room, where Milka the Mannequin’s head had been glaring disapprovingly at me until I turned it to face the wall. Her bald head shines almost supernaturally in the moonlight, but that’s neither here nor there because this story takes place in the middle of the day and we were inside. (And I’m technically not allowed to take Milka outside on field trips anymore, not since we went camping and a family of earwigs nested inside her right arm socket and crawled into Dave’s hair when he was dismantling her in a fit of drunken passion.)

Milka and Dave. The love that dare not slur its name.

But back to our hero (me). I was lying on the floor in a heap of limbs, at least half of which weren’t mine. I pushed Milka’s left leg and a miscellaneous hand off myself and struggled to my feet, attempting to retain a sense of dignity. After all, there’s nothing wrong with standing behind a headless mannequin and flirting with yourself in the mirror. Everyone does it, and people who say they don’t are filthy communist liars with AIDS and they like Tony Abbott and want to kiss him, so if you don’t admit you do this then it means you love Tony Abbott, you said it not me.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I sniffed, regally removing Milka’s long black wig and pretending that getting it tangled around my rings was part of my blasé charm.

Robby eyed me with the look of combined disappointment and pity that I’ve grown to know well over the course of our friendship.

“Seriously Bridge, it’s worse when you try to hide it.” He seemed to give up on lecturing me, or maybe he was distracted by the sight of me subtly trying to hack a tangle of wig off my fingers with Jordan’s hashish scissors. Whatever the reason, he continued. “Anyway, what’s up? You haven’t visited this wing in AGES.”

He was right, of course. Normally I kept to the east wing and courtyards of the mansion, amusing myself with the idle pursuits of the rich (swinging in hammocks, eating brie, swinging in hammocks too soon after eating brie and feeling sick, throwing up off hammocks, lying about who threw up under the hammock, etc.). I myself was not rich, but luckily my friends were.

Amos and Jordan had hit the big time with their skit show entitled “We Make Farts, You Laugh Now”. Despite the unconventional title, rave reviews and a strong fanbase of loyal internet followers to their blog soon propelled WMFYLN into the mainstream and beyond: The SUPER mainstream. Studios started bidding wars on these hot young writers, and thanks to two mega-successful feature films (‘Darling, What’s That In Your Pocket?’ and ‘The Futility’), the boys’ stock couldn’t have been higher. With some of the royalties gained from selling their skit show to 472 countries worldwide (Turkish title: “Your Flatulence Is Like The Flatulence Of A Woman Or Goat!”) Jordan and Amos purchased a modest $32 million home with Robby Edge.

Comedy geniuses. Also the last sight many women see before they become pregnant/are kidnapped.

Robby himself was no shrinking violet, which is thankful because frankly what with Milka and my apparently-embarrassingly-large collection of Spongebob plush dolls, I had enough inanimate friends that people ALREADY worried about my mental health without bringing sentient plants into the mix. Robby’s musical career had taken off, soaring him to high heights that dazzled everyone with their heightiness. An accomplished and lauded guitarist and songwriter, Edge was being compared to such greats as Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Slash and Jesus. His most recent single, ‘Flange Flange Flange’, had knocked Lady Gaga off the number one spot eight months ago and stayed there ever since.

Robby "Danger" Edge. Yeah. That's what I'm talking about.

As soon as it looked like the three men were making their ways in the world in a monetarily-happy way, I put my hand up to be their PA. They were reluctant at first, but I soon won them around with a winning smile and three-day chorus of, “PLEEEEEEEASE? Please please please please pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease I’ll be your best friend I’ll even learn to cook things that aren’t microwavable frozen vegetables please please please???”.

I didn’t technically live in the mansion, but I stayed there most nights and sometimes bought them toilet paper when they ran out and I really needed to go. So it was kind of like living there. Anyway. Back to our hero (still me).

“I missed you,” I said, answering the question Robby asked several paragraphs ago about why I was in the west wing of the manse. “What’s up, anyway?”

“Not much,” he replied, idly strumming a guitar that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. “Just been rehearsing with the band, writing a few songs. What about you?”

“Well I certainly haven’t been throwing up under the hammock!” I asserted, perhaps a little too loudly. Three kittens and a startled hedgehog scurried from under the couch and bolted down the hallway away from us. “Ha ha ha!” I added, to assure Robby that I was, in fact, just joshing and completely normal.

Suddenly, Jordan burst into the room. I hadn’t seen him for about five days, but that wasn’t unusual. The dishevelled clothes and slight madness in his eyes confirmed that he’d simply been holed up in his room/cellar writing scripts and reading for 120+ hours. I’d been leaving little plates of food outside the trapdoor to his hole and in the morning they were always nibbled on, so at least he’d been eating.

Jordan’s bloodshot eyes rolled around the room before settling, slightly unfocused, on Robby and me. “Oh!” he said, seemingly startled to see us. “Hi. Do we have any tea?”

I gently steered him towards a chair while Robby plucked yet another guitar that had materialised for his amusement. I pushed a “Make Some Tea” button in the wall (rich people TOTALLY have stuff like this – everything you imagine about their awesome lives is true) and within ten seconds, Jordan had a steaming cup of soothing camomile tea clutched in his shaking hands.

“Um,” he said. “I think I’m gonna go for a ride.” Taking a long pull of tea (haw haw… “long pull”), Jordan stood up, pushed the “Jordan’s Sweet Ride” button and activated the advanced system of pulleys, magnets and high-pressure chambers that served to bring Jordan’s bike to any room in the house. After a series of sounds like a 19th century chambermaid falling down a dumbwaiter to a hilarious death on top of a soufflé, Jordan’s bike had arrived and he was off.

“Let’s see what Moss is up to,” I suggested, wondering how Robby’s two guitars had turned themselves into a full drum kit for him to bang away on (haw haw…) in the middle of the room. He seemed absorbed in the beat, and fearing the wrath of supernatural instruments, I edged out of the room.

Moss wasn’t hard to find. “Hey baby!” he called brightly as I entered his enormous gym-slash-sauna-slash-dojo-slash-swimming pool-slash-ultimate rad room. He was on the balance beam, doing intense man exercises that were definitely not gay.

I nodded in greeting and watched as he balanced carefully on the beam, using his core strength to support him while simultaneously bench pressing 250 kilos, making himself a protein shake and singing a pitch-perfect rendition of a song from Karnivool’s first album, not the second one because the second one’s SHIT.

Once he’d completed 470 repetitions of his current workout and gone through Karnivool’s entire album (plus b-sides and singles), Moss jumped down from the balance beam he’d been suspended on. As the beam was a macho 50 metres off the ground, this meant unleashing a grappling hook from around his waist, hooking it around one of the rafters and belaying himself down. Back on solid ground again, Moss wiped the sweat off his brow and wrung his towel out over the swimming pool, instantly filling the Olympic-sized pool.

As Moss dove in to complete his usual 70km cool-down swim in his own sweat, I settled myself on a futon (Rich people don’t care about where furniture’s MEANT to go: They’re rich! Toaster in the bathroom? Sure! Ottoman in the garage? Ha ha, why not.).

Ahhh, I thought, getting comfy. This is the life.

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About bridgetneval

Ex-actor who quit the biz, Batman and A-team fan, animal lover, on-and-off sufferer of depression and eating disorders, Canadian and Australian citizen (silly accent), hobbyist writer and occasional thinker of things. View all posts by bridgetneval

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