A Whale Eats Mickey Mouse And A Bloody Nougat:
the premeditated adventures of Melissa & Ramona.
Episode 1: Dementia Strikes Back
Ramona runs downstairs in her loose Mickey Mouse T-shirt and frayed jean shorts. She stops, stumbling from the abrupt change in speed, to stare at the pile of mail strewn across the linoleum.
She’s done this every morning since she ordered her custom made map from Disneyworld three weeks ago. Melissa made fun of her, for being so proactive, for ordering maps and books to plan her trip. Melissa’s too unorganized to appreciate the benefits of having an hourly itinerary.
Ramona flops onto the floor, she flips through the mail; her frustration grows with every bill and letter addressed to her parents. Even her brothers have mail. She almost gets excited – there’s a letter with her name on it – but then she realizes it’s just her acceptance letter to the animation program.
Whatever, who cares, it aint Disneyworld.
As Ramona resigns herself to yet another day of disappointment, she notices a large flap stuck in the golden mail slot. It’s a brown package, a package too large to fit through the door.
Oh. My. God. Is it? Maybe?
She opens the door and grabs both the brown paper package stuck in the mail slot as well as a second, slimmer, purple package on the stoop. They’re both addressed to her.
Ramona tears into the slimmer, prettier package first with an uncharacteristic animal ferocity. She cradles the four glossy maps (one for each park) in her hands, touching them with the same amazed reverence as she did with her signed photo of Prince Caspian.
She doesn’t think she’ll ever get tired of staring at them.
A Week Later.
“Ramona what’s this big brown package for?” her younger brother asks.
Ramona, purple smears under her eyes and greasy, limp hair falling across her forehead turns slowly. She croaks, “Did you say something?”
He rolls his eyes, “Never mind, go back to staring at your maps Gollum.”
The spell (Disney’s magic is far reaching) breaks. “I’m not like that - that...thing.”
“Okay. Give me the maps.” He reaches for the glossy paper; the tips of his fingers touch the map; for a moment, he feels insanely happy.
But Ramona jerks her arms, curling in on herself, protecting the maps. “Mine.”
“Told ya.” He shrugs and walks away, brushing the moment of utter joy aside.
After a while, Ramona considers that her brother may be right. With no looming threat of anyone stealing her pamphlets, she reluctantly moves towards the brown package.
The Harry Potter simulation kit she ordered for Melissa - to prove to her, once and for all, that prepping for these kinds of trips is better than just winging it – tumbles out. There’s a black robe with a generic Hogwarts crest, a wand, a Weasley Wizarding Wheezes Skiving Snack box, glasses, and a Hogwarts acceptance letter.
Harry Potter, enticing with its own brand of magic, compels her to test the merchandise first, just to see what it’s like.
Melissa never needs to know.
Ramona dons the Wizarding attire leaving only the Skiving Snack box on the floor. She swishes the wand in an arc, giggling when sparks emerge.
A quick succession of knocks startle Ramona, she swirls the wand to point at the door.
“RAMONA! I know you’re there! I talked to Younger Brother; it’s time for an intervention. Open the door right now or I’ll light it on fire. I was in Girl Guides! You know I know how to start a fire. Don’t tempt me.”
If the words weren’t enough to identify the speaker, the way her booming voice transcended the barriers between them did. It’s like Melissa is screaming right into her ear; Ramona cringes.
“Actually, you know what? Tempt me. I want to burn your door. It could be funny.”
Ramona knows Melissa, for all her jests, is serious.
She whips the door open, “Don’t! Please, there’s no need for a violent intervention. I’m okay now.”
Ramona fidgets, her eyes shifting back to the maps every second breath. Melissa blinks, once, twice, four times.
Her expression goes blank.
“I’m not-” Ramona’s voice gets caught in her throat, Melissa’s eyes are wild. She looks a bit like a zombie, foaming at the mouth, desperately craving a bit of brain.
Ramona’s last thought before she runs, screaming: I should have known better, Melissa always finds out.