The Supernatural, Naturally
Marsha yawned as she walked down the street. School was out for the summer and she had nothing to do. She hadn't seen a single one of her friends in two days. Had they all gone off on vacation? She turned the corner at Wilshire and Dunlop, and saw a girl she knew from school. Not a friend, more an acquaintance, a year behind her. What was her name again? Trixie, wasn't it?
"Hi!" the other girl said, waving. "You're Marsha, right? What's up?"
Marsha shrugged. "Not much," she said, leaning against a tree. "Everybody seems to be away for the summer."
"Yeah, tell me about it," Trixie said, shaking her long red curls. "I am so bored today!"
"Yeah, me too," Marsha admitted. "There's got to be something we can do on a nice warm summer day."
"We could go swimming," Trixie suggested.
"I guess," Marsha said, looking towards the park. The lake was at the end of the park, just before it became wilderness. "Too bad I don't have a swimsuit with me."
"Neither do I," Trixie said, grinning. "But nobody'll probably be there today, so nobody will see us."
Marsha laughed. "You mean go skinny-dipping?" she asked. "I haven't done that in years."
"Me neither," Trixie said. "But I'm not scared if you're not."
"Me, scared?" Marsha said, walking in the direction of the park. "Not a chance!"
As Marsha had expected, and somewhat hoped, the park was deserted that day.
Trixie walked over to the swings. There were several slides, including a large one that had been made to look like a rocket ship, three stories high. "I used to love coming here," she said, ducking her head to look up the ladder leading to the second floor. It was a platform with a second ladder that led up to the top.
"Me too," Marsha said. "I used to pretend I was traveling to other planets."
"Me too!" Trixie said. "Too bad we never came here together before."
"Hey!" Marsha called, pointing. "There's somebody else here! So much for our skinny-dipping adventure!"
Trixie turned and looked over at a boy about Marsha's age. He was looking at the ground as he walked. "I think that's that really shy boy," Trixie said. "The one that sits by himself at lunch time."
Marsha nodded. "Greg something or other. He looks bored. Maybe he'd like to join us."
Trixie giggled. "Join us skinny-dipping?" she asked.
Marsha smirked. A boy that never made eye contact with anybody would probably faint if they suggested that to him. "Let's ask him if he'd like to go on the nature hike with us."
"Okay," Trixie agreed, climbing up the ladder. "Just let me slide one time. Come on!"
Marsha hadn't played on the playground since sixth grade, afraid that she'd be laughed at for acting like a baby. If Trixie didn't mind, though, why should she? It wasn't like Greg was going to go around telling everybody in the fall that they had played on the slides. She laughed and followed Trixie up the ladder, surprised at how cramped it was inside. She'd grown more than she had thought. Trixie, who was smaller than Marsha, didn't seem to be having any trouble though. She looked more than just one year younger than Marsha. She still had a kid's face and figure. She hasn't really grown up on the inside either, Marsha realized, watching her head so that she didn't hit it on the wheels that you were supposed to turn, pretending they were the controls to the spaceship. Well, if Trixie can still be a kid, why can't I?
Trixie started turning the wheels. "Ready for blast off!" she cried. "We're traveling where no man…or woman…has ever gone before!"
"Right!" Marsha said, allowing Trixie's bubbly personality to rub off on her. "We're off for the planet Uranus!" She laughed, having pronounced it exactly the way she'd been taught not to.
Trixie giggled and started up the steps to the third floor. Marsha looked between the metal beams and realized Greg was heading their way. Surely he wasn't planning to go on this rocket ship too, was he? She didn't mind doing this kind of stuff with Trixie, but acting like a little kid around a boy could be embarrassing. Well, it was too late to get out now. If she went down the slide she'd practically run right into him. She followed Trixie up the metal rungs.
"It still looks really high up from here, doesn't it?" Trixie asked at the top. It was only then that she noticed Greg was approaching the rocket. "Looks like we got another crewmember, captain!"
"I don't think he even noticed we're here," Marsha said. "He's kind of spacey."
"Maybe he's got ADD," Trixie said. "I know I sure do."
"There's nothing wrong with that," Marsha assured her. At least she didn't think there was.
"I didn't say there was," Trixie said, turning the wheels at the top. "But you should hear my teachers! And my parents! 'Trixie needs to learn to concentrate in class more. Trixie seems to have trouble focusing. Trixie is disruptive to the other children.' In first grade I had my pencil 'blast off' in class and ended up in the principal's office."
"Ouch," Marsha said. Trixie sounded like a real nut. But a very sweet nut. She couldn't see Greg anymore. Had he actually gone inside? Then she heard slow, heavily footsteps below. If it was cramped for her, it had to be a really tight squeeze for Greg, who was taller than her and kind of on the heavy side.
Trixie climbed onto the slide. "I was sitting here one day eating French fries and a boy yelled at me to move. He got really really rude and made me cry."
"A lot of people are like that," Marsha said, hearing the wheels turn below. Sounded like Greg was also on a trip down memory lane. "I didn't stop coming here because I outgrew the playground. I stopped because my friends did and I didn't want them thinking I was immature."
"Really?" Trixie said, turning around on the slide so that she was facing head down. "I never stopped coming here. When my friends laughed at me I just gave them a raspberry."
"A what?" Marsha asked, hearing footsteps coming up. She looked over at Trixie. The other girl was wearing a dress, and her underpants were showing. "Trixie! Greg's going to see your panties in a second!"
"A raspberry," Trixie explained, apparently not hearing Marsha's warning. "You know, you stick out your tongue and go PBBBTTT!"
Greg appeared at that moment. His face turned red as he saw Marsha looking at him. He turned his head away, and turned redder as he looked down Trixie's skirt. "Uh…s-sorry…" he muttered, quickly looking away. "I…"
"Um…hi," Marsha said. It was terrible to think it, but she felt less embarrassed to be caught by a boy in a kids' playground when another girl was flashing her undies nearby.
"Hi!" Trixie said, not sounding the slightest bit embarrassed. "Am I holding up the line? Okay, here I go! Geronimooooooooooooooooooooo!" She slid down the slide, picking up speed as she went, squealing like a toddler. She hit the end of the slide and landed face first in the sand at the bottom.
"Um…I guess I'm next," Marsha said, now feeling a bit silly once Trixie wasn't there. She climbed onto the slide, glad she'd worn shorts that day. She slid down the slide, only to discover, too late, that Trixie was still at the bottom. "Look out below!"
Trixie squealed and rolled out of the way. Marsha sat down hard on the sand. "Ow!"
Trixie looked up. "Come on down!" she cried. "Your turn!"
Greg backed away from the slide. "I think he's going to climb down the steps and run off," Marsha said.
Trixie looked over at her. "What? Why?" She started towards the slide again. Marsha noticed one of the other girl's shoes had come off. She held it up.
"Hey, Trixie! You forgot your shoe!" Marsha cried. But the younger girl had already started up the steps again. She's in her own little world. But at least she seems happy.
Greg had reached the second floor when he heard Trixie coming up. He moved towards the slide on that level. Trixie's head appeared over the opening in the floor. "What's the matter?" she asked. "Aren't you going down the top slide? It's not that scary. Come on. I'll go with you."
"I…I really think I should…" Greg's face was still red. Trixie didn't seem to notice as she grabbed his collar and gently tugged on it.
"Come on!" she repeated. "It's fun!"
Greg, really too big for the ride, banged his head trying to get back into the ship. He grabbed his head and started to curse.
"Aw, did you get a boo-boo?" Trixie asked. "Would you like me to kiss it and make it all better?"
He backed away from her. "Please don't!"
She grabbed his shirt and pulled him towards her. "Look out!" she cried. "You'll fall down the ladder! You got to be careful in here!"
"S-sorry…" he said. "M-maybe I should just go…"
"Not that way," Trixie said, pointing towards the ladder leading up. "That way! Go on!"
She followed him back up to the third floor. He climbed onto the slide quickly, wanting to get out of there fast. He was shocked when he suddenly saw a barefoot in front of his face. "Hey! What…?"
"Scootch over a little," she said, placing her hands on his shoulders. "I'll go down with you so you're not scared. She suddenly wriggled her toes. "Whoops! Looks like I lost my shoe the first time! So that's why it felt funny climbing up the ladders. Oh, there it is. Marsha has it. Hi, Marsha!" She waved. "Wave to Marsha. Isn't she in some of your classes?"
"Uh…she was in English and Math…" Greg muttered.
"Oh right," Trixie said, wrapping her arms and legs around Greg. "We're out for the summer so none of us are in any classes right now, are we? Ready? Let's go!"
Greg swallowed loudly as he pushed the two of them forward until they went down the slide together. Shoomp! Hitting the ground, Greg fell over on his face and Trixie landed on him.
"Yay!" Trixie cried. "Wanna go again?"
Greg spit out a mouthful of sand. "Uh…n-no thanks…" he said, wiping at his mouth. "I think I've had enough for today."
"Okay, maybe tomorrow," Trixie said, climbing off of him. She reached out her hand to help him up. Greg rolled over, looked up, then quickly looked away again. Trixie gave him a pull. Greg placed his free hand on the sand and rose to his feet.
"Um…here's your shoe, Trixie," Marsha said, handing the other girl her sneaker.
"Thanks," Trixie said, sitting down on the bottom of the slide to put it on. "
"I should be going…" Greg said, starting to hurry away. Trixie jumped up and raced after him, grabbing him by the elbow.
"Where are you going?" Trixie asked eagerly. "What are you going to do today? Can Marsha and me join you?"
"Uh…I wasn't really planning to do anything," Greg said.
Trixie looked up at his face. He was still blushing. "Oh wow," she said, patting his cheek. "Your face is all hot and red. You need to cool off. Hey! I know! Why don't we all go swimming in the lake?"
"Sorry," Greg said. "I don't have a swimsuit…"
"Marsha and me don't either," Trixie said, grinning so that her eyes crinkled shut. " Me and Marsha already decided to go skinny-dipping! Why don't you join us?"
"What?!?" Marsha and Greg both cried.
Trixie looked from Greg to Marsha. "Oh, Marsha," she said, patting the other girl's cheek. "You're as hot and red as Greg! You both need to cool off! Come on!" She grabbed each of them by the hand and started pulling.
"I guess we could go wading," Marsha said, looking at Greg. "Don't worry. She doesn't really mean it. She's just very…hyper."
"Yup yup yup!" Trixie said as they approached the lake. "I am hyper and full of sugar! I had two candy bars and a soda before I left home!"
Marsha shrugged and pulled off her shoes. She looked over at Greg, who was still blushing. "Calm down," she assured him. "There's no way Trixie would really…Trixie!!!"
"What?" the other girl asked, folding up her dress and laying it on a rock. She wasn't wearing a bra. Her small breasts bounced as she hopped on one foot to remove first one shoe then the other. She looked at Marsha and Greg. "Come on you slowpokes!" she said, whipping off her underpants and laying them across her dress. "I'm ready! Let's go!"
This would be a summer none of them would ever forget.