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Sleepover by Toni Roman

Novel By: Toni Roman
Young adult

The problem with an invitation is that you might not get a second. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Mar 21, 2011    Reads: 13    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

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5. Activities

With her pillowcase done, Beth went back to the snooze room and put her pillow in its case. As always, the others took their cue from their hostess and did the same. There was no point in getting food all over what you had to sleep on.

Beth turned on some music and, after washing her hands in the sink, started pulling out snacks. Veggies including cherry tomatoes and baby carrots. Fresh fruit.

"Oink." soundered Beth as the smell of pig-in-a-blanket drifted from the microwave. Vegetarian pizza. Meat-lovers pizza. Sugar-free cookies. Nut-free food. Lactose-free ice cream. There was something for everyone. Washed down with ginger ale. The ice cubes were color coded. Yellow was frozen banana and pineapple juice. Orange was hard frozen orange juice. Red was raspberry V8. Purple was frozen grape juice. Blue was blueberry. Green ice cubes were lime and kiwi. It took the help of Mrs. McCall and dry ice to get most of the flavors to stay in the shape of cubes because concentrate does not get hard at ordinary low temperatures. The cubes melted fast and very soon everyone's ginger ale took on the color of its ice.

Since the ice cream and cookies were not being touched, Beth put the ice cream back in the freezer. No one had had dinner and most of the girls had enough sense to eat the nutritious food first and save the junk food snacks for later. Of course, several girls had been to the dentist recently and been lectured by their parents. That might have had something to do with it. Grace excused herself to go brush her teeth.

The music was a mix of pop that Beth liked along with music that the others liked. You had to admire someone who prepared. She had not only found out from Grace's kid brother that she liked rock but specifically which new group and which songs. He had answered the land line when Grace did not pick up her cell so Beth took the opportunity and then asked him not to tell Grace. "Tell her what?" He took no interest in his older sister Grace's life anyway.

It was easy to find out Lisa's fave music. Lisa was in band. And the music teacher told Beth that Lisa was planning a career playing the viola in an orchestra. Maybe even become a soloist if she got good. He identified a passage in Tristan und Isolde that Lisa adored.

Beth had to guess what Cameron might like -- and came close. Johann Sebastian Bach on the synthesizer. PDQ. A cynic might say that Bach's appeal crossed all categories of people and so was a safe bet. Not only humans but even machines like Skynet liked Bach. Of course, no but Cameron's family knew Cameron was a machine and even they knew nothing about Cameron's likes and dislikes.

Cameron liked electronica.

Beth had overheard the sounds coming from Meg's ear buds and it took little effort to find out what was on her player. Same as her cell ring tone. There was an app that could listen to a sample if you held up the receiver, identify it, and how to download it. R&B. Hip-hop. Rap.

"Well we know that Grace's favorite color is green. What is everybody else's favorite color?" asked Beth

"How'd you know my favorite color?" asked Grace.

"You're the only one who picked one color of ice. Plus every time I see you, you're wearing something green."

"Not just any green. Kelly, emerald or shamrock." said Grace.

"I like cyan." said Meg.

"Pink." said Lisa.

"Basic black." said Beth.


"Which? Battleship gray, diaminogen, gun metal, moleskin, taupe?"

Cameron pointed to the mirror in Beth's compact. "Not gray, silver. Gray is rust and dust where I come from. Low maintenance."

Beth: "Favorite movie?"

Grace: "A Walk to Remember."

Lisa: "Titanic."

Meg: "Twilight."

Cameron: "I'm not allowed to go see movies." (crickets) "Much."

Beth: "Transformers. What?" She caught a momentary expression on Cameron's face.

Cameron: "Nothing."

Beth: "Now I want to know."

Cameron: "Experience and etiquette books have taught me not to offend my hostess."

Beth: "Out with it. I promise I'll take it like a big girl."

Cameron: "You're a smart person but Transformers is stupid. How can a mountain-sized machine fold into a car? It's not paper like origami. It's not molecules like DNA. Those will fold up into a small space but the only way that a mountain of hydraulics, pneumatics, engines, turbines, motors, gears, power trains, reactors, and servos could be compacted into a volume the size of a car is by putting it into one of those car crushers at a junkyard. Something is going to break. Robots don't recover from being crushed."

Beth: "Maybe the transformers are mostly empty inside. Maybe they are crystals. They're supposed to be from an advanced civilization."

Cameron: "The technology should still make sense. I admit that I don't know if solid crystals can do tricks but I do know that liquid crystals, like liquids in general, do not compress. I apologize if I have given offense and I apologize for slowing down the conversation."

Beth waved her hand.

Beth: "Oh please. What offense? I think science is cool and I like the way you analyze. Let's see . . . favorite book?"

Grace: "Harry Potter."

Lisa: "Twilight."

Meg: "Twilight."

Grace: "I meant to say Twilight."

Cameron: (lies) "Twilight." (Cameron really preferred reading textbooks and encyclopedias but one was expected to like vampires-in-love romances)

Beth: "Twilight. And Wuthering Heights."

Cameron thought it might be romantic to have a guy like Heathcliff dig her up and hug her rotting corpse. Heathcliff also got flogged frequently, which made his back more endearingly bloody. Brothering Heights.

Or HE could die. Drowning in the cold North Atlantic, letting him slip beneath the black surface, sinking two-and-a-half miles straight down where his body would be crushed like her heart, letting go of him seconds after saying she would never let go. Titanic love.

Or bite him on the neck and give him a hickey. And a demonic disease. Romantic.

Beth: "Favorite game?"

Lisa: "Mario."

Meg: "I don't have a favorite but I like cooking games."

Grace: "Myst."

Beth: "Is that still around? I like Fashion Fantasy."

Cameron: "The real thing is more fun but any first shooter game that allows a high body count is good practice. Not that I need practice."

Meg: "You mean like an NRA gun range?"

Cameron nodded.

Beth: "Favorite animal?"

Meg: "Horse, of course."

Grace: "Leopard."

Beth: "Zebra."

Lisa: "Dog, like my beagle."

Cameron: "Bengal tiger." She almost said human but she was learning not to seem weird.

Beth: "Favorite TV show?"

Lisa: "Gossip Girl."

Meg: "Teen Mom."

Cameron: "Smackdown."

Grace: "Toss-up between The Simpsons and Beverly Hills 90210."

Beth: "Total Request Live. Favorite web site?"

Cameron: "When Love Hurts."

Meg: "MySpace."

Lisa: "Go-Girl and GirlSite."

Grace: "Studio 2B and SmartGirl dot org."

Beth: "YouTube and iTunes. Let's play spin the bottle."

Beth spun a bottle. Of nail polish.


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