It was a windy, cold night. It was time for the Halloween dance. Patrick had been sick all week, but he wasn’t going to miss this. Wendi had asked to meet him at the dance. This was the first time a girl had ever talked to him, and he felt that it was time to start talking back. He appeared at the front door to the school hours before the dance. Others didn’t begin arriving until two hours later. Unfortunately, Wendi was nowhere in sight. The dance started, and Patrick was still outside. Patrick decided to go inside. The low roar of his stomach rumbling cued him into the fact that he hadn’t eaten for the last day and a half. He had been so worried and anxious about this dance that he had been stressing over it for about two days now. He went inside and stood by the wall. It was a fun place, with everyone smiling, laughing, and having a good time, but Patrick was sad. He was sad for himself, and he was worried. Worried about Wendi, where could she be?
Patrick went over to the food stand, and ate a large amount of crackers and dip. Yes, he knew the crackers were meant to be used with the cheese and ham on the side, and only the chips and dip went together, but he used the crackers in the dip all the same. He noticed that he was the first to use the dip, and it tasted like it had been sitting out all day. He would have stopped, but he wasn’t thinking straight. He thought, “I’ve gotta finish this dip, or else I’ll be the dip and Wendi will laugh at me, and I’ll buy a flamingo with my wallet that’s covered in dip, dip and cheese, with Wendi and death, death to the dip with dip covered wallet head top dip, into the dip.” If he had even an ounce of clear thought left in his brain, he would have realized he had gone temporarily insane, but alas, all he could think about was dip flamingos.
When he had finished the dip, a girl from his English class, Susie, with blue eyes and blonde flowing hair, came up to him. “Hello Patrick. Are you ready to dance? You’ve been standing there all night.”
“Flamingo dip with Santa Frog dip, mixed with cheese.” The temporarily insane Patrick stated with extreme melancholy in his voice.
Susie laughed hysterically at this: “Patrick! You’re so funny, come on, let’s dance.”
Patrick was tugged away from the table of snacks, and pulled onto the dance floor. This was the first time Patrick had ever danced, and he was not prepared. “Here, just do what I do,” Susie prodded, and she started to move back and forth, in a rhythmical, and, in Patrick’s mind, a very flamingo dip sort of way.
Patrick, trying his best to do everything Susie was doing, twisted and contorted his body into various different positions, one of them, an odd one-legged stance, with his arms moving wondrously about. Susie laughed once again: “Oh Patrick, you really are funny.” She said this with the sweetness of a candy-cane.
Patrick’s belly rumbled again. “Santa Frog has eaten my soul, and now he’s spitting it back up,” Patrick said with extreme disgust. The acrid taste of salt and French onion dip, mixed with his own stomach juices, arose slowly into his mouth. He tried hard to fight it back, but finally it broke through his barriers. “The dip is getting its revenge on me. I wish my soul was still alive so it could save me.”
Susie hardly had enough time to realize that this was really weird before Patrick had vomited the small chunks of crackers and dip all over her brand new rose-red dress. She screamed loudly, running towards the bathroom. Patrick looked around, and saw all the faces of the flamingos staring open-beaked at him. He had to run out of this flamingo palace, and out to where life existed.
When he got outside, he continued to run, never stopping. He ran down the street, and turned onto his own street, almost home. He turned the corner, and the sight of what he saw made him yell in horror. To his insane mind, it looked like Santa Frog had carved the face of Wendi into a horrible flamingo-looking face. Her face had been chopped apart, and her left leg had been cut off and placed up on her head, where there was a large split between her eyes. Santa Frog was laughing and mocking him, eating a large amount of cheese and throwing bits of it in the slice down the front of Wendi’s face. Wendi was tied up to the fence in a flamingo-like sway, as the wind pushed her one-legged form into the twisted contortions similar to Patrick’s earlier dance moves.
“Why? Why’d you do it Santa?” Patrick asked in great pain. “All I wanted was to have a good time at my first dance.”
“Oh, you don’t like what I’ve done? Fine, I’ll just have to make you like it. Come here, I’ll slice you up good!” Santa Frog said, with an air of haughty nationalism in his voice.
“No way. I know better than that. You’re going to have to come get me.” Patrick meant to run after saying this, but his legs wouldn’t move. He was so afraid, that he was motionless. Santa Frog sensed his fear, and came for him.
“Come to Santa,” he said. “Come and tell me what you want. I’ll make it all better.”
“I want you to go away. Just go away and leave me alone.”
“Is that your only request?”
“No, I also want Wendi back alive. Here, I’ll give you this to seal the bargain.” Patrick took his wallet out of his back pocket. His hands, covered in French onion dip, slimed on the wallet. When he gave it to Santa Frog, he only looked at it with mild contemplation.
“Hah, you’re trying to buy a flamingo with a French onion dip covered wallet. I mock you!” He laughed out loud. His laugh was a high and piercing girlish laugh, one that would have sounded more normal had it been Wendi laughing. Emanating from the mouth of Santa Frog, it sounded horribly freakish; it pierced right through Patrick’s body.
“Alright, I’ll let the flamingo live,” Santa said in disgust. “In the meantime, you should know that the Dark Lord will be coming to get you in the future. Any time you dream of going to a dance, He will come and make you think better. You can go back now to your home, and I will never return, but alas, He will, and you better listen when He comes.” With this, Santa frog took his knife and chopped off his own head. When it splattered on the ground, Patrick ran away. He couldn’t stand to face the sight of Wendi’s body flying listlessly in the wind. He reached his home and fell into a death-like sleep.
His mother woke him the next morning. It was very bright, and he had slept till around noon. “Patrick,” she coaxed. “Patrick, get out of bed. There are some men here to see you.”
“It was all a dream,” he said. “None of it happened?”
“That depends on what you were dreaming about,” his mother said quietly. “There are a couple of men here to see you dear, and they’re going to ask you a few questions. Just tell them the truth, dear.”
When Patrick entered the living room, he saw two large, formidable police officers awaiting his arrival.
“Ahoy there. Up finally I see,” said the taller of the two, with glasses perched on his nose. “It’s about time—we’ve been waiting for about 20 minutes now.”
“What’s the problem?” Patrick asked, fearing in his mind, which was perfectly sane now, that they’d ask him about Santa Frog.
“Well, we just want to ask you what you know about. . .”
Not Santa Frog, his mind pleaded. Not Santa Frog.
“about. . .”
Just say it already. I now it’s Santa Frog. Just say it!
“about. . .”
“Just say it already, please. I . . .” Patrick realized he had said this out loud, and quickly shut up.
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I’m just trying to think of the best way to say this. We know you were planning to attend the dance together.”
“Yes. Wendi. She’s dead.”
It was all true then. It wasn’t a dream. Now he’ll ask me about Santa Frog.
“You seem shocked, so I’ll let you know, we don’t think you did it. Her stab wounds are apparently self inflicted. She seems to have found a way to. . .
Self inflicted? What’s he talking about? How could someone cut off their own leg and slice their own head open. And what about placing the leg in the slice?
As he thought of all this, the images of Wendi hanging there on the fence, flying in the wind like a flamingo, came back to him. He bent over to vomit, but nothing came out, so he just heaved. There was a slight taste of French onion dip when he did this, and it brought back more memories of the dance.
“She seems to have found a way to chop off her own head, but it does seem apparent to the forensics that she did so her self. We think she may have gone insane. She was wearing a weird frog mask, with a red Santa hat on her head.”
She was Santa Frog? My only love was Santa Frog, and that’s why he let me go.
“Where did this happen?”
“It happened down at the bottom of the street down there. By the Johnson’s house—the one with the scarecrow on the fence, with all the straw coming out of his head. They try hard every year, but that scarecrow always ends up looking more like a flamingo than a scarecrow.”
Flamingo. I knew it. Why was I so insane, I couldn’t realize flamingo?
“We also found a wallet down there, stuffed inside Wendi’s pocket. Is this your wallet?” They showed a brown wallet, with some French onion dip crusted on it.
He wondered whether to tell them everything he knew, right then and there. They were bound to find out sooner or later. But, he was very confused. He decided to just say what they wanted him to say.
“Yes. It is.”
“Do you know why Wendi had it?” “Yes, I was going to meet her at the dance. I forgot to buy her a flower. It’s tradition at the school, to buy a flower for your date. So I gave her the wallet.”
“Ah yes, and there’s no money in it, so I suppose she bought the frog mask and Santa hat instead. I guess you’re out eight bucks, kid.”
“Thank you. Is that all there is?”
“Yes, I believe so. We’ll be leaving now. Thank you for your time. See you around later.”
Patrick shut the door on the two police officers. He stared at his wallet. The French onion dip was all over it, which made him recall the dance again. How could he go back to school tomorrow? He would remember how they looked at him, and how everyone saw what he did.
“We’re moving, Patrick.” His mother said from behind him.
“I said, you don’t have to worry about facing your friends, because we’re moving tomorrow. I can’t stay in a town with murder on the streets.”
Patrick moved with his mother to a quaint town, with nice people. They fit in nicely, and enjoyed what life had to offer. However, the memory of Santa Frog remains with Patrick. He remembers the Dark Lord’s promise. He has told no one else; he waits for Him to come someday … someday soon.