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I just *had* to get away from those *sweet* people for a while, take a break from that *saccharine* talk; think for myself. Oh great, here comes Bestie Vanessie to see what I’m up to, why I left without telling her. Strawberry shortcake it was for her the last time I checked, after a couple of glazed donuts, a piece of licorice, and a big wad of cotton candy. But who’s counting when it comes to Sweetieville. Not a salad in sight, no meat, no potatoes. And the (resulting) chattering! Nonsense basically; fantasy world stuff. Who needs structured activities when you can just hop and skip around with each other while holding hands until you fall down from exhaustion. I wish I were somewhere else, someplace sour —

“Oh hi, Tiana! There you are. I thought you left without me.”

I did, she thought, feet dangling purposefully off the box seat of the old, weatherworn wagon. She knows what she’s doing; this is not sweets induced fidgeting. This is pure agitation. “Hiii Vanessa,” she uttered lowly, turning her sour look toward her which emitted a small gasp for the more sugared up mate, her no. 1 friend since they were 7 and climbed that apple tree to rescue the pie thrown up there by Jasper. Always Jasper, she thought. Never Newton.

“What a look!” Vanessa said. “Aah, one of *those* moods — the I’m sick of the whole Center of Woods extravaganza. Not partying like the rest as usual. Wellll… I brought you something to cheer you up. A piece of Mabel’s pecan tree pie, fresh from the forest.” She points. “Right over there; just getting ripe. Best to pick ’em when they’ve just sprouted and let them sit for a day. Had one myself before coming to look for you, yum yum.” She rubs her belly with this, and then stands beneath Tiana, moving two fingers up each side of her mouth to produce an even wider smile. “You try it now!”

She wasn’t incapable of smiling but her dim view of the world had to turn upside down first. “*There*,” she said, forcing it of course.

Vanessa was thinking this was even worse than the scowl. Unnatural. “*Anyway*, I’ll just leave the pie with you.” She reaches into her pocketsack to produce the wrapped up food item. Tiana waves her hands in rejection.

“I’ll take my chance on the 2 day old version. I just need (sigh) a *break*. One day. I can just sleep out here under the trees and stars. She leans back. “Just go away, please. One day,” she reiterates, and climbs into the wagon bed to lie down.

Vanessa joins her. “I guess… it wouldn’t hurt if I take a small break as well,” and throws the piece of pie back into the woods from which it came.

Pause. Another kind of belly rub now. “Wanna make out?”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, Jeogeot, Middleton^, 0207, 0034

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