The Storm came down fast and hard with lots of thunder and lightning and wind and rain and even hail, and when it hit your skin it felt like sharp little iceballs. Me and The Perceptionism Professor hadta go back to the tent so The Storm couldn’t get us anymore. When we got back Planner Ants were everywhere like a lollipop had just fallen on The Wedding. They were scrambling to get everything out of the rain before it got wet, and at the same time Wedding guests were running for cover under the tent and clogging up the entrance. The tent itself was getting blown hard by the wind, and its thin plastic walls looked like they could just blow away at any moment.
I’d had enough of The Wedding. I’d gotten my New Reality MeToo and just wanted to get outta there. I just hadta find Wolf&Lamb, say a quick goodbye, and then I could get to The Goddess of Faith so we could make a Bluebird’s Alright, Baby!!somewhere in history.
I found a gap in the crowd of Adults and managed to get inside The Tent. I lost The Perceptionism Professor in the chaos, but I couldn’t look back. I zeroed in on Wolf&Lamb, who were, thank Gods, sitting alone together at The Important Realities Wedding Table. They were actually looking better than they were before, and it seemed like their pre-Vertigo state must’ve been wearing off somehow.
“Bluebird,” Wolf said. “I know you probably want to get out of here.”
“You read my mind,” I said.
“I don’t blame you,” he said, “but The Wedding is ending soon anyway as The God of Weather is making clear. And then comes The AfterParty.”
“It’s a party at The Best Man’s house in Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania),” Lamb said.
“There won’t be any Adults invited,” Wolf said. “Only Reality Travelers like us. We’ve been waiting for this all day.”
“Alright,” I said, “how do Iget there?”
“The Best Man hired a van to take us all there,” Lamb said.
“Since you drove here,” Wolf said, “you just need to find the van and follow it when it leaves.”
“Where’s the van now?” I asked.
“Let me show you,” Wolf said.
Suddenly The DJ turned off the music and came on the microphone.
“Attention everyone,” he said. “The Wedding is over. I repeat The Wedding is over. Please say your final goodbyes to The Bride and Groom, and then leave.”
Then all the Realities looked over at us and quickly formed a mob.
“Oh Gods no,” Wolf said.
Before I could get directions to the van or say goodbye myself, I was rammed out of the way by the crowd.
All I could do was go outside in The Storm and try to find the van myself. On the way out I ran into The PerceptionismProfessor again.
“I need your help,” he said. “I just discovered the open bar still has a giant stash of unused Alcohol. Those MeNotzies, as I suspected, were over-rationing, and I heard they’re just going to take it all and use it at their next wedding unless we get to it first. That’s Wolf&Lamb’s by right, and you’re going to need it for The AfterParty.”
“You’re right,” I said. “What’s the plan?”
We headed to the open bar, and somehow in the chaos it was unmanned. I kept a lookout, while The Perceptionist Professor went behind it and started putting all the bottles into two boxes. I noticed The Bartender nearby getting yelled at by The Queen.
“Why haven’t you taken down your station yet?” she said. “Can’t you see there’s a Storm outside? A Wedding’s worst enemy! Everything must be carried into our underground Wedding tunnels at once!”
“Quick,” I told The PerceptionismProfessor, “they’re coming back!”
“Thanks,” he said. “I got as many as I could.”
And then he handed me a big heavy box full of jumbo bottles of every variety of Alcohol Perception.
“Hey!” The Bartender saw us. “Put those down.”
I looked over at The Perceptionism Professor who had picked up his own heavy box.
“Run!” he said.
Then The Perceptionism Professor took off like a bunny darting thru the meadows, and I followed. The Bartender ran after us, but The Perceptionism Professor was an expert at using the Realities in front of us to screen him off. When we got to the exit, it was still clogged up with guests and Planners, but The Perceptionism Professor was able to find a little hole in their legs and slideunder it, box and all, and he even managed to keep his top hat on the whole time. I tried to follow his lead, and found a little hole, and also made it thru altho I accidentally hit a few Realities’ legs with my box.
“We’ve gotta take these to the van!” I said when we got outside.
“Where is it?” The PerceptionismProfessor said.
We couldn’t see it at all, but you could hear the Bartender yelling behind us, “Help, they’re getting away!” and then we had to keep running anyway.
“Let’s just take it to my car,” I said, and we both ran toward Wings.
We looked back, and it seemed like we lost The Bartender, but there was another Ant in a raincoat who’d taken up his place and was now close behind. She kept yelling “Hey!” at us, and she didn’t have a heavy box and was catching up fast. I wondered what they’d try to do to take The Stash away, and I wondered what The Perceptionism Professor would do to defend it. Just as I got to the car, a hand grabbed my shoulder.
“Get away you MeNotzie!” I said. “Nobody likes how you planned this Wedding, and you owe us this Stash.”
“No, Bluebird, it’s me,” she said.
When I turned around, she’d taken her raincoat hood down, and I saw it was The Goddess of Faith. She pulled out a big umbrella and held it over our heads.
“Holy shit!” The Perceptionism Professor said. “It’s an Angel!”
“Don’t worry,” I told Faith, “he’s on our side.”
“I know,” she said. “I’ve been watching.”
Then I introduced them to each other.
“Actually,” The Perceptionism Professor said, “I’m known to The Gods as Magic White Rabbit.”
“Nice to meet you,” she said. “Actually I’d like to be known today as Bluebird’s Date.”
The word “Date” gave me The Chills, and we looked at each other and smiled.
“My Gods,” Magic White Rabbit shook his head, “You really truly are in True Love.”
“Shhh,” The Goddess put her finger to her mouth.
Then we looked around and cars were quickly leaving the parking lot, but we still couldn’t find the van.
“They must’ve left already,” Magic White Rabbit said.
“I guess we’ll just have to pack it up in our own cars,” I said.
“I wasn’t gonna make it to The AfterParty anyway,” he said. “I’ve got Adventures in Perceptionism to lead at The Training School tonight.”
Then he helped put both boxes in Wings’s trunk and shook my hand.
“It’s been a pleasure,” Magic White Rabbit said. “And I hope the best for you.”
“Alright, you, too,” I said.
“I’m parked just down there. Mind if I borrow you and your umbrella, Bluebird’s Date?”
“Alright,” she said.
Before she went tho, she whispered in my ear.
“I have to go now, but I just had to be here for one second with you, so I could officially be your Date.”
“Thank you,” I whispered back. “I TrueLove you.”
“Oh, Bluebird, I TrueLove you,too, my SoulMate. And I’ll try to sneak back and see you as soon as I can.”
“I hafta kiss you now.”
“We can’t tho. We’ll just have to say the words ‘kiss,’ and that will have to be good enough for now.”
And then she walked The Perceptionist Professor over to his car, and when she was done flew high into the sky and thru the stormclouds.
I got in Wings, and wondered how the hell I was going to find that AfterParty. As we drove out of the parking lot, I looked at The Wedding and the tent was coming down and the last of The Wedding Planners were running down into their underground Wedding holes. All the Wedding guests were gone, except for two who came running toward my car shouting. As they got closer you could see they were wearing a tuxedo and a Wedding Dress.
“Wolf&Lamb!” I said and scooped them up out of the rain.
“Bluebird!” they said. “Thank Gods you’re still here. The AfterPary van left without us, even tho we’re the most important Realities at The Wedding.”
“How do we get there then?” I said.
“Don’t worry,” Wolf said, “I can get in touch with Scorpion and get the directions, as long as you don’t mind driving us.”
“Not at all.”
“It smells like pizza in here,” Lamb said.
“It smells like Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains in here,” Wolf said.
And they both went “ahh.”