The status of the Smiling RV Park teetered on a slippery slope. Recently, an erosion explosion had brought the trailers down and the Silver Swamp up to within a nail-biting distance of one another. This unwelcome union also added an abundant population of slugs, bugs, and mud.
On a clear day, between threats of complete RV inundation, Gary and Melinda went out for a stroll. Squishing along beside the swamp, Gary reached out and tickled Melinda’s posterior.
“Potential, hmm?” he asked, nodding his head out over the landscape.
Melinda raised her eyebrows and furrowed them back into a frown. She gazed across the bog. “Undecided,” she murmured. She turned and scooted away. Gary sighed and followed close behind.
Hailing from higher ground, these young slugs were on the hunt for a hospitable home. Swamps had never bothered her, but apparently, Melinda had yet to find riveting reasons to settle at the Smiling RV Park. Gary knew she missed their old tree; ever since it dried up in a drought last year, Melinda had been unwilling to commit to a home and their disagreements were becoming acute.
The couple squished along through the mud in silence until they rounded the mossy boulder. To their left, the stately RV stood staunchly swampside and from their lowly vantage point, the dwelling decidedly glowed in the afternoon sunbeams.
“It’s perfect,” Melinda breathed. “Look, it has a halo.”
“Well, let’s investigate!” Gary said, forging on ahead (albeit, a bit sluggishly).
Melinda sidled up beside her love and together they scooted up to the door. Gary sized up the entrance.
“Too narrow,” he surmised, analyzing the crack beneath the door. “We’ll have to be conventional.”
With their combined muscle power, they just managed to push open the door.
“I’m in!” Gary called out. And then the door swung shut. Gary’s rear end caught between the jamb and the door, but instead of getting pinched, he shot right up and across the RV like a bar of soap and skidded across the stovetop.
“Whew! You really launched me!” Gary laughed his deep belly laugh, turning to recount the epicness to Melinda. To his dismay, Gary realized that Melinda’s grip had slipped, launching her exactly backwards.
Gary looked over his skid marks and out the window above the door. He strained his nearsighted eyes and could just make out Melinda’s shape, wallowing in the shallow mud beyond the porch of the RV. She looked around, puzzled, and then up at the RV. Her eyes grew wide and she began to wiggle them in her special way that always made Gary swoon.
He swooned all right, right off the stove and into the kitchen sink.
Hurrumph! Gary surveyed his options: old peas, a fork, and some steel wool. He grimaced at the thought of the chafing had he landed on that! Then he saw the sponge out of the corner of his eye. A perfect trampoline. Gary squirmed atop the sponge.
Squeeze and jump. Squeeze and jump. Gary chanted to himself. He bounced higher and higher. He heaved a powerful breath, bounced again, and found himself sliding on the Formica countertop. He paused to listen. The rain thundered on the tin roof. Gary looked out the window again. The Silver Swamp water was rising higher as Melinda inched up the steps.
The rain sure accentuates her slick, smooth back! Gary thought. He hoped this adventure would bring the sparkle back to Melinda’s eyes and some laughter back to their relationship. His view of her had certainly changed already. Literally. Come hell or high water, they were in this together.
Gary looked around. Straight ahead, a kitchen chair sat away from the table, right up next to the counter. Moving quickly, aware of the pounding rain and rising water, Gary dropped and landed comfortably on the chair. Then he looked down beneath his slime and the former home decorator in him nearly fainted.
What the? Who in the world? Why? Whoever designed this chair should die! He finally spluttered to himself. He was genuinely flabbergasted. The cushion which he had now allowed his whole body to touch was patterned with dehydrated urine yellow and burnt umber zebra stripes. Had he not been so hasty, Gary would have chosen a much more palatable landing location. I must really love this lady, he grumbled.
Abruptly, the RV rolled forward and tilted into the swamp. Gary started. The front door swung open, revealing Melinda pacing on the front stoop.
This is it, Gary thought. My opportunity! He refused to drown passively on a hideously patterned chair in someone else’s RV while his own love waited within his sight, however blurry.
He secreted with all his might, mustered a big squeeze, closed his eyes, thought turbo thoughts, and whispered Geronimo! His momentum pushed him over the edge of the chair, but he overshot the narrow aisle, and bonked into a cupboard. He slid down the cupboard door, dazed and sticky.
When Gary opened his eyes, he discovered that instead of the anticipated sluggish crawl toward his love, he was sliding faster and faster down the incline toward the wide open door.
“And I’m freeeee!” He hollered to alert Melinda that he was on the approach. “Free faaalllin’!”
Gary watched Melinda whirl around in her sexy, slow-motion way, hips swinging, back glistening. Gosh, he loved that voluptuous lady!
She giggled, sucked in her slime, maintained a sturdy stance and braced for impact. Whaabam! Gary zoomed into Melinda and they spun around in a do-si-do, laughing and giggling and smooching.
She wrapped her antennae around him and whispered, “I think we just found home.” She gestured at the flower box balancing on the half-sunken stoop.
He nuzzled into her slime and nodded. Indeed, truly nothing could be more homey to a couple of slugs in love than a pot of soil with flowers to nibble, memories of an epic battle, dragonflies and newts for neighbors, and a swampy, boggy, mud-pit for a front yard.