Before this ordinary duplex in the middle of this ordinary town, a bellow rose from the earth, deep and dark as if it had been mined by an army of industrious dwarves. Birds took flight from the surrounding trees as words formed: “Anybody home?”
The most reasonable reaction to this sound would be terror and retreat. However, baking in a cloud of ozone on the roof of this ordinary duplex were a pair who could not be described as reasonable; she knew no fear, and he just didn’t give a damn.
He shouted, “We’re on the roof!”
The bellow replied, “The door’s locked!”
“Please,” he muttered. “As if that would stop that.”
“You’re useless,” she told him with a glare. “Keys!” she announced before flinging them over the edge.
From beneath them came a roar of pain.
“You could have given some kind of warning,” he said. “Or at least aimed.”
Lisa punched Sean in the shoulder.
The building shook as it ascended the stairs, stomped across the threshold of the apartment, and approached the window, blotting out all light from inside. “You guys out there?”
“No,” he replied.
“Sean, is that you?”
“No,” Sean said before she hit him in the shoulder again. “Yes.”
“Cool.” Somehow, it pulled itself through the narrow window without breaking anything. When it was fully outside, the A-frame of the roof bowed, but held. This particular golem was named, appropriately enough, Rocky. “Smoking weed?” Rocky asked.
“No,” Sean replied, “we’re sitting here with bloodshot eyes, heightened appetites, and mellow demeanors, wondering where that smell is coming from.”
Rocky’s eyebrows slid together into a frowning shelf. “You think it might be coming from that pipe in your hand?”
“Care to join us for once?” Sean offered.
“I can’t,” Rocky replied.
“Why not?” he asked.
“I kind of…” Rocky started. “It’s hard to explain.” He tried: “I… change.”
“Into what?” Sean begged.
“Trust him,” Lisa said, “and just let it go.”
“Not now that my curiosity has been piqued!”
Rocky sighed. “Fine.”
She bolted to her feet. “You don’t have to do this, Rocky.”
“I’ll be okay.”
“No you won’t!” she pleaded. “Remember what happened last time?”
“You know Sean,” he told her, “he’s like a Chihuahua.”
“I’m more of a Shih Tzu,” Sean declared.
“He won’t let go until he sees for himself,” Rocky continued.
“While that is a softly blended metaphor,” Sean said, “it is accurate.”
Ignoring him, she asked Rocky, “Are you sure this is okay?”
Sean appeared between them. “Enough with all this foreshadowing!” He handed Rocky the hash pipe and a lighter. “On with it!”
After a few thoughtful, cautious tokes, Rocky sat down and exhaled.
“Well?” Sean whispered to Lisa.
“Wait for it,” she replied.
Rocky jumped to his feet and exclaimed, “Zut alors!”
Startled, Sean lost his balance, but she caught him before he could stumble off the roof.
“Tu bien?” Rocky shouted at him.
While Sean gasped for air, she said, “He’ll be fine, Rocky. How are you?”
“Comme ci, comme ça.”
Regaining his physical and mental balance, Sean cried out, “What the fart?”
“We warned you,” she said, “he changes when he’s high.”
“Changes into what?”
“Je suis français,” Rocky explained.
“What?” Sean took a few deep breaths before asking, “Why?”
“Je ne sais pas,” Rocky replied.
“Are you just fucking with me?”
“No,” she lied.
Rocky shrugged. “Ça va.”
Sean retreated through the window, mumbling, “I can’t deal with this.”
Rocky smiled an enormous smile and handed the paraphernalia back to her.
“Tu es très haute?” Lisa asked him.
“Mais oui,” he replied.