I Toad You So

(From the Writer’s Digest creative writing prompt Frog in Your Throat)

As soon as I’m through my apartment door, I kick off my shoes and call the pizza place for delivery. What a day! The weird nerdy creep from my psychology class—or was it history?—had the nerve to ask me out when I was trying to get him to write my term paper that’s due on Monday. I’m pretty sure I embarrassed him with my rejection, if the shade of red he turned was any indication, but seriously…he needs to stay in his league. You know—with all those girls that have braces, coke-bottle glasses, and the same complexion as the pizza that should be here any minute.

I take a sip of pepsi from the can on the coffee table and make a face. It’s flat and warm…in other words, gross! It must be left over from breakfast….or dinner last night. I toss it the same time the doorbell rings. I check my hair and makeup in the mirror before going to the door. Kimberly said that the delivery guy yesterday was a total hottie, and I wouldn’t want to ruin my chances. She said he flirted with her, and everyone agrees that I’m so much prettier.

I swing the door open and lean on the door frame. I can’t believe my eyes! Kimberly was right! I’ve never seen such a perfect specimen of masculinity before, like the gods combined all the best features of my favorite movie stars together into him just for me.

He smiles and I want to swoon. “Pepperoni with extra cheese?” His voice is as beautiful as he is.

I open my mouth to say something, but the only sound that comes out is a croak…not like I have laryngitis kind of a croak. No, a full froggy toad-like croak. I slap a hand over my mouth, my eyes wide. What just happened?

“Are you okay?”

I shake my head. I can feel the panic starting to rise, along with the humiliation of losing my voice in front of this gorgeous man. Maybe I can just whisper. Another croak.

He frowns at me. “You’re starting to look a little green…”

I spin around and run back inside, checking the mirror again. Sure enough, my skin is starting to take on a green tint, but that isn’t all. My features are changing—my nose is flattening out and my head is changing its shape. I hold my hands out to see webbing growing between my fingers. The whole while the world around me seems to grow around me though I get the feeling that I’m actually shrinking. I scream in horror but it comes out sounding like a bullfrog.

The pizza guy is standing over me, and his hand descends and picks me up. He holds me up so I can see myself. I’m a frog…a big, fat, slimy frog! Not even one of those cute ones from the rainforest that comes in pretty colors. “You really shouldn’t be so quick to judge,” he says in a low tone. “You couldn’t see the good in that young man, and humiliated him after he spent weeks trying to get up the courage to even talk to you.”

I blink my bulbous eyes and try to ignore the fly buzzing around the room. This can’t be real. I’ve got to be having a nightmare. I’ll wake up and everything will be fine.

“You’re not dreaming,” he says, setting me down. “This can be undone, once your heart changes and you can gain his forgiveness.”

I start hopping toward the door. I’ve got to find the nerd—I just know I can make him forgive me! The pizza guy’s voice follows me, his tone mocking. “He works at the new Chinese restaurant down the street! But I’d be careful if I were you—I hear frog legs are their specialty!”

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