Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)
TITLE: Midnight Shenanigans
By Jenna Dawn
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Popping upright, her eyes darted toward the blue beta circling the fish bowl. “I’m gonna do it, Earl. Polly won’t know what hit her.”
She posed before the full-length mirror and took a cock-eyed gander at her ensemble. An untied green robe layered Tinkerbell PJ’s, while her feet snuggled inside hot pink, fuzzy slippers. “It’ll do, Earl. It’s after midnight. Who’s gonna see me anyway?”
Switching off the lava lamp, she grabbed a flash drive and hopped into her orange, classic-sixties Porsche. The cool breeze drew strands of hair out the open window as she sped through her modest neighborhood and drifted across town. Pulling into a posh community, she parked in front of the large white home of Pollyanna Peterson and scanned for nosy neighbors. Then, like a giddy teenager, she flittered across the damp grass.
Squatting in the grand entrance, Zelinda tilted the small bunny statue and snagged the exposed key. Nudging the door open, she paused. No alarm. Pollyanna never bothered to set it.
“Now where, my friend, is your laptop? Wesley won’t let you take it on romantic getaways.” Zelinda stood in the foyer, hands on hips. “You use it in the kitchen when we make Christmas cookies.”
Wandering into the moonlit kitchen, Zelinda eyed a bowl of apples and nabbed one. Chomping into it, she poked around the kitchen, but found no computer.
“Her bedroom,” she mumbled with a full mouth. “She works in her bedroom a lot.”
Zelinda ambled up the curved staircase, stepped into the master suite and squealed at the sight of the monstrous poster bed. With a running leap, she flopped onto the soft lilac scented comforter, propped up on her elbows and crunched into her sweet apple.
A framed photo of her and Pollyanna at last year’s fair caught her eye, compelling a wicked grin.
“Ah yes, the pie contest.” Zelinda reminisced how she had replaced Pollyanna’s homemade whipped cream with shaving cream and watched Pollyanna slather it all over her chocolate pie.
“The look on those judges’ faces when they took a mouthful!” Zelinda snorted. “Such despicable behavior, indeed. Pollyanna’s own fault, though. She’s the one who started all the pranks. Now where is that computer?”
Glancing left, there it was. It sat unsuspecting atop an antique desk. Bounding off the bed, Zelinda opened the pink laptop, rubbed her hands together and did a quick search.
Doreen’s Award-Winning Chili, the recipe Pollyanna had been bragging about. She got it from her cousin and proclaimed unequivocal victory at the upcoming chili cook-off.
Zelinda popped her zip drive in and copied the file. “Muahahahahaaaaa!” Zelinda’s evil laugh sent a spider on the windowsill scurrying away.
Before closing the lid, she scanned the list of ingredients and made a few changes. “Take that, Polly!” She hit save, closed the laptop, scampered home and downloaded the file to her own computer.
“I did it, Earl!”
A very smug Zelinda stood in the crowd observing the tasting of her chili.
“Oh!” A judge grimaced.
The smirk dripped off Zelinda’s face.
The man spewed the red concoction to the ground, as did the other judges. “Which contestant is trying to kill us?”
Zelinda shrank down into the crowd and slithered out the back.
Zelinda winced. “Heyyyy … Pollyanna.“
Pollyanna was beaming. “You didn’t even bother to taste it? This turned out even better than I had hoped.”
Zelinda tilted her head. “Wait … what–”
“Did you really think I would tell you about my “award-winning recipe” and not expect you to steal it? The thing is, I didn’t think you’d actually submit it. I figured you’d taste it and realize how horrid it was. I mean, really. I wrote a ton of piri piri into that recipe. Do you even know what piri piri is?”
Zelinda bit her lip.
Pollyanna snickered. “It’s a spicy chili pepper sauce.”
Zelinda squished into the zebra-print rug, her long auburn hair fanned like a peacock, while her squinty eyes fixated on the slow twirl of the ceiling fan. If you looked close enough, you could almost see a fine mist of smoke oozing from her ears.
“Earl, I got it. I know just how to get that Pollyanna Peterson!”
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