What had started out as a lovely shopping trip had turned into a day of misery for Charlotte. Everything had been just peachy until she spotted a shirt in a store window, a particular shirt that had the words "Someday My Prince Will Come" emblazoned across the front, complete with a shiny tiara made of sequins. And that made her think of Hans. And that made her remember that she hadn't seen him in weeks, maybe months. Her lower lip began to tremble. Hans had left her, thrown her over, dropped her like a hot potato. It was the only explanation.
"Ah'll nevah get my handsome prince," she wailed to the heavens, tears streaming down her face. "It's not fair! Nobody loves me!"
The sun was shining brilliantly in a sky filled with promise, turning the pavement to a dazzling white. And down this pristine thoroughfare strolled one J. Thaddeus Toad. He was still getting the lay of the land, as it were, in this mysterious, frightening, wonderful place. As he ambled along he swung his walking stick in the most devil-may-care manner, as befitted a toad of the world.
He tipped his hat to the pinkish young lady as he passed. But the face she turned to him was not the benign smile he'd come to expect. No, this was a red-eyed face, a face of woe, perhaps even of despair.
Toad's cheerful nature rebelled at such a display.
"Come, come, my dear," he tutted the girl. "Chin up. Best foot forward. And other assorted platitudes. It can't be as bad as all that."
Lottie wept and sobbed and generally made a scene, unaware that anyone was watching until she heard a voice nearby.
Come, come, my dear
She turned, but there was no one there. Until she thought to look down.
"Eeeeeeeekkk!" Lottie screeched. It was a frog! A talking frog! And talking animals always freaked the southern belle out. One would think she'd be used to them by now. But frogs were so disgusting! Even if they were well dressed.
It took the blonde debutante only a few seconds to recover, especially since a new idea lodged in her fluffy head. A talking frog with an elegant accent. He just might be--
"Are y'all a..." she hardly dared ask it. "...a prince?"
Toad was utterly unprepared for the reaction he received.
The scream nearly pierced his eardrums. Worse, it caused him to lose his urbane exterior; indeed, he jumped a good two-odd feet straight into the air, and when he landed, thoroughly rattled, his necktie was askew. And he'd taken such care to tie it that morning!
"Really, my girl," he remonstrated, "Was that necessary? I mean, it's just not done!" As he put himself to rights again (which was not easy without a mirror), he heard the girl ask:
Are y'all a prince?
"Well, now..." That question wasn't as easy to answer as one might think. True, Toad had no royal blood in his veins, but he was certain he did have a princely bearing about him. So a stranger might naturally assume...
Charlotte whipped out a tiny lace hankie and dabbed away the tears and mascara tracks. This frog had to be a prince. He just had to be!
"That's good enough for me!" cried Lottie, swooping down on the amphibian and snatching him up in her arms. "Royal Family, here Ah come!" With that, she covered his little froggy head with half a dozen kisses. And Passionate Petal Pink lipstick.
Placing the frog back onto the ground, the debutante watched him with wide-eyed anticipation, waiting for the spell to break and the change to commence.
"Oh, please, please, please, please, pu-LEEZ!" she begged through gritted teeth. It was the moment she'd been wishing for. She crossed her fingers and...
Last Edit: Feb 28, 2019 22:21:45 GMT -5 by Charlotte
Toad flicked a spec from his otherwise immaculate cuff as he pondered how to answer that question. But before a chap could utter another word, he found himself in the embrace of the young lady in question.
Each attempt was silenced by another smack in the face. A kiss, that is, not a blow. But the cumulative effect was every whit as staggering.
When Toad was finally replaced upon his own feet, he found them strangely unresponsive. Indeed, he was reeling.
"Now, then, young lady," he finally found the presence of mind to say, "I know you cannot help yourself, but you must try. Show some strength of character. Resist." He knew he had a magnetic attraction, but really this was too much!
Charlotte waited, holding her breath, absolutely quivering with suppressed excitement. But even though she managed to be patient for a full eighteen seconds, the frog remained just a frog.
"Oh, it's no use!" The water works began again. "Either he's not a prince, or my kisses just aren't good enough to do the job! Ah'll nevah, nevah get my wish!" Oh, it was too much for a delicate little blossom to bear!
Lottie flopped down on the nearest curb, seeking the relief of a good, hard cry. Oh, why could she not faint on cue? It would be so appropriate, so indicative of her shattered dreams.
"What's the use?" she bawled into her expensive embroidered hanky.
Last Edit: Mar 12, 2019 21:44:29 GMT -5 by Charlotte
When the poor child sat down and began to weep in earnest, Toad's heart smote him. How ungallant to cause a female to cry! It showed a grave want of feeling on his part. Clearly she was awkward and unpopular among her set. And no wonder, considering those black rings round her eyes! She resembled nothing so much as a raccoon.
In an instant, he was decided: Toad would rise to the occasion and give this poor child a much-needed boost.
"Come, come, my girl, no need for tears. As it happens, I find myself in want of a companion just now. Won't you join me in a frolic? A day of frivolity?" And just to make his offer absolutely irresistible, Toad plucked a hasty bouquet from a nearby pot and presented it to the homely creature.
Even with her bawling, which was pretty loud, Lottie couldn't miss hearing what the frog had to say. She raised her smeared face to him and came nose to nose with a bunch of azalea blossoms.
"Pink is my favorite," she whimpered, stating the obvious.
Won't you join me in a frolic? A day of frivolity?
"That's awful nice of you," she couldn't help but observe through her tears. Why not? After all, when did Charlotte ever pass up an offer to be treated? I mean, without some better offer in the wings. "All right," she sniffed.
Now that the waterworks were turned off, Charlotte was more like her normal self. She whisked the mascara tracks away, fished a few cosmetics tools out of her bag, and fixed her face in a flurry of motion that only took a few seconds. Then, powdered and perfect as usual, she asked,"
That was better. At least the poor child had stopped crying.
That's awful nice of you
Well, yes, it was, to be sure. But that's the kind of toad he was: selfless, gallant, resourceful. His chest swelled a bit as he thought up some other appropriate adjectives.
"What did y'all have in mind?"
"Oh, ah..." Toad hadn't got that far yet. He cast about for some suitable diversion, and his eye lighted upon a small group of boats tied to the dock of this nautically-themed establishment. "Boating! Ah, yes, the very thing! I am an expert yachtsman, you know."
Only, he wasn't properly dressed for boating. But that was easy to fix. Excusing himself, he ducked into a nearby shop and had himself outfitted for a sea-going excursion.
Toad emerged in a blue double-breasted blazer, white ducks, and yachting cap, looking every inch the seafaring fellow he felt.
Leaping into a trim little craft with bold green pinstripes, he called out, "All hands on deck! Hoist the jib! Smartly, now!"
Boating! Ah, yes, the very thing! I am an expert yachtsman, you know.
Charlotte couldn't suppress a little squeal of delight. A boat ride sounded like such fun! And with an expert yachtsman, too. Good thing, for the Southern Belle knew absolutely nothing about boats.
She looked around for her swell, but he was gone, into one of the stores, though he reappeared almost instantly, dressed very handsomely, she had to admit. For a frog. And looking like a true sailor. Never for a moment did she doubt that he did indeed know what he was doing.
As the frog hopped into a boat, Lottie stood poised on the dock, waiting for her to hand her in. That would be the proper thing to do, and not to let a fragile lady climb in all on her own. But he seemed to be busy shouting orders to a crew that didn't exist.
Well, she wasn't going to wait forever. Lottie climbed into the boat and settled herself demurely in the front part, the better to be seen by all who happened to be out on the lake. Oh, if only she had a parasol!
Oh, this would be jolly! A lovely outing on the lake. But where were the scuppers? Wait, they weren't called "scuppers". Those metal blighters that held the oars. but when it came to that, where were the oars?
As the boat meandered away from the dock, Toad realized with a sickening twinge in the pit of his stomach, that he had no means of driving the blasted thing without oars.
"We, um, appear to be at something of a loss, my dear," he began, addressing his fair companion. "Some scoundrel seems to have made off with the oars."
They had already drifted too far from the dock to jump for it. Swim? In his brand new yachting togs? There must be another way. What would Ratty do?
Toad felt the panic rising up inside him as he considered the predicament. Would he be trapped forever on the high seas like some Flying Dutchman?
what about that motor thing
"...motor...thing...?" He eyed the strange box-like business on the tail end of the boat. Toad had already dismissed it as something he didn't understand, and therefore of no consequence, but perhaps it had a use after all.
Fortunately it was not of the pull-the-ripcord variety of outboard motors, or the amphibian would never have been able to figure it out. But these tourist-friendly motors, they were another story. A simple flip of a switch and the boat roared forward.
"Ho! That's more like it!" cried Toad, opening up the throttle to its maximum. "Hard to larboard! Hard to port! Hard to starboard!" Why were there three?
Charlotte was growing more and more bored by the minute when all of a sudden the boat shot forward like a rocket. She let out a long, piercing scream which the wind snatched from her throat and carried away to parts unknown. She gripped the railing on both sides of the boat until her knuckles turned white. Stealing a glance behind, the blonde debutante noted that the frog was laughing. At a time like this!
"Stop it stop it stop it!" shrieked Lottie. But instead the boat increased its speed. Now it was going so fast the front end was rising out of the water. "We're gonna hit the table!!"
Actually it was a dock, but to Lottie it looked like a big wooden table sticking out of the water. And she didn't have time to think how silly that would be.
His lady friend screamed a great many things, but Toad cared not a jot and paid no attention whatsoever. He was in his element at last: speed! Who knew he'd find his destiny on the water?
Toad steered his boat, if you could call it steering, crisscrossing the little lake, all the while laughing in open-mouthed joy. When he ended up bisecting his own wake, the boat actually leapt out of the water. What fun! Thereafter, Toad did his best to do it on purpose, crossing over the choppiest places in order to jump higher.
"So that's what is meant by 'the bounding main', " he remarked, though it was debatable whether the girl was listening. But if the truth were known, he'd all but forgotten about her.
Charlotte clutched the sides of the boat until her knuckles turned white. She stared straight ahead at the inevitable crash, but they missed the wooden thing by a hair. That wasn't enough to make Lottie relax, however; now the boat was actually bouncing over the water, zig-zagging around the lake until she was in danger of becoming sick. Fortunately, Lottie's stomach was stronger than her nerves.
Turning around to face the frog, the blonde debutante started to crawl across the boat on her hands and knees to get to him. He wouldn't listen, so she would have to make him stop. Though she'd thought about jumping out of the boat, Charlotte wasn't that strong of a swimmer. Besides, it would ruin her dress.
Toad was enjoying himself immensely! This sort of boating was ever so much more fun than merely rowing on the River. He would never go back to oars again!
All was right enough until he failed to navigate a turn. The little boat nearly swamped itself, but instead barrelled into the shallows and straight onto the shore. There it slid to a halt, perched high and dry.
Leaping onto the sward, Toad called to his fair companion, "Help me to push it back into the water!" With his own hands he endeavored to do just that, though the bulk of the craft was too much for one lone amphibian. "Oh, bother it!" he cried, pushing and straining without success.
Charlotte didn't see what happened, but the whole world suddenly screeched to a stop. The jar flung her shrieking to the bottom of the boat.
When the blonde pulled herself to her feet, they were on dry land again at last. It was the only good thing about the situation. For Lottie's hair looked like a haystack, thanks to the wind. The spray from the lake had made her mascara run yet again, and she'd lost the heel off one shoe. If she had known what she looked like, she would've been mortified, but presently she had other things on her mind.
Help me to push it back into the water
The frog, whose name she never did get, was trying to push the boat himself. Lottie stumbled out of the boat and faced him.
"Look at my dress," she screeched. "An' my stockings! An' I--broke a nail!!" That was the ultimate. "You--you--you...FROG!"
With that, she turned and flounced away, nose in the air, limping on the one bad shoe.
Last Edit: Mar 31, 2019 21:04:31 GMT -5 by Charlotte
" 'Frog'?" Well, really! "My dear girl, I am a toad. J. Thaddeus Toad, at your..." It was far too late. She was disappearing into the distance.
At least she wasn't feeling sorry for herself any more. In spite of himself, Toad had actually done the poor creature some good. At any rate, the aristocratic amphibian had far more important things to think about just then. He must have this boat for his own!
Leaving it with some regret and many a backward glance of longing, he raced round the lake and back to the dock from where he'd launched, seeking the owner of that delicious little craft. He would buy it, of course. Money was no object.
Full of these happy schemes, Toad scampered off into the sunset.
Panchito: It's nothing like I expected, but I'm still anticipating good things.
Jun 4, 2019 18:31:36 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: Well, I had a thread idea now that Galaxy's Edge is opened in Disneyland.
Jun 5, 2019 16:50:31 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: And figuring things out with it, considering how that land is operating.
Jun 5, 2019 16:59:12 GMT -5
Basil: All I know about it is what I read. I won't be able to visit until 2020 (in Florida).
Jun 6, 2019 19:16:55 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: Aye. I am hoping to visit sometime t his year. Or early next year. I really, really,really, want to go there.
Jun 7, 2019 21:57:51 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: But so far from what I read, it is good. The most immersive Disney ever did. Cast members actually having a backstory and name in the setting, characters constantly interacting with the guests in-character...
Jun 8, 2019 8:49:33 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: Guests actually being encouraged to make their own story, and play a part in the land..
Jun 8, 2019 8:50:01 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: And also has an app to allow guests to actually do things more.
Jun 8, 2019 8:54:23 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: Of course, I imagine our characters checking it out in it's full glory.
Jun 8, 2019 8:58:20 GMT -5
Judy Hopps: An app...Disney didn't bother to make their app to work on my phone.
Jun 8, 2019 11:23:19 GMT -5
Jiminy: Apologies for the extended absence, all! I finished up graduation stuff and immediately have to launch into college program prep so I've been busy as of late. I'm really hoping to get back on top of things soon.
Jun 8, 2019 15:44:41 GMT -5
Papá Héctor: Lol aww that darn phone :/ And welcome back, Jiminy! <3
Jun 8, 2019 15:52:09 GMT -5
Papá Héctor: Congratulations on your graduation! Yayy! <3
Jun 8, 2019 15:52:58 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: Congrats Jiminiy. And aye. Hopefully can get it to work, with the app.
Jun 8, 2019 16:03:42 GMT -5