This is a picture of me at 18 with my creepy friend~ Danny O’Day.
The Defeat of Danny O’ Day
By Vicky Bastedo
Danny O’ Day was a dapper little fellow. His beige suit coat fastened over his pure white shirt. The lapels made the suggestion of a salesman traveling with a cardboard suitcase. He had good shoes, too. They would clack together when he moved, like a happy two-step. His painted dark-brown hair was neatly trimmed, and no side burns. But the most obvious personality trait of Danny’s was his smile. It was wide, and toothy. The lips were a sedate red, pulled back to express all expressions in one. Everyone who saw Danny O’ Day, where he perched on the edge of the top bunk, made an immediate turn in his direction. He would be taken down, and sat on the person’s lap, his tapping feet and movable head getting comfortable and his grinning mouth hanging open till the person pulled the string at the back of his neck.
Everyone loved Danny O’ Day, except for me. I had an ever-increasing conviction that something was wrong about him. There was a red light behind those eyes. Smarminess coated his smile. I remembered our first run in; I’d breezed into the bedroom and leaned over my bottom bunk for a moment to rustle under my pillow. All I did was knock the bunk bed just a little, and Danny fell, slithering off the top bunk and landing arms-splayed on my back like a parasite.
To get even I asked Terrence if he and Danny O’ Day cuddled at night in bed up there, but he soon proved otherwise when I awoke in the morning and opened my dresser drawer and saw Danny’s eyes staring at me where he was bedded down in my panties and camisoles. I held in a scream, and then I glared at the sleeping Terrence.
No matter how fine the man’s muscles looked in his tight gray t-shirt and his backside looked in those ridiculous pajama pants, this meant war.
I’d easily agreed to bunk in the same room with Terrence. After all, it was my intention to spend more time with him anyway. Cicely was one of my best friends, and she should’ve introduced me to her brother sooner. So when she switched room arrangements at the last minute to include three other girls at our vacation rental, bunking in the same room with Terrence seemed ideal.
The first night was fine. He didn’t snore and never noticed that I do. When I got up that morning and saw that half of my over-curly hair was an electric puff and the other half looked like a compressed Sno-cake, he merely stumbled past me on the way to the bathroom with bleary eyes. I brightened. I envisioned cozy nights chatting and trading sleepy flirtatious comments.
Mr. O’ Day had to butt in. I laid him flat on Terrence’s bed, his arms crossed over his chest for embalming and his eyes staring with an empty grin. He hung him in my closet between two hangers. I tied and gagged the creepy doll with some panty hose, and that night I lay down in my bed and saw Danny staring down at me from where he’d been duck taped to the springs under the upper bunk.
That the dummy was so cheerful pushed me over the edge. Terrence turned the overhead light off and I could see that ghostly smile above my eyes in the moonlight.
That was it. I’d reached the end of the line.
Some six-foot-two, tightly muscled roommates were desirable. But if Terrence and I were to continue this relationship, we needed to set a few ground-rules, one being that I got to decide whom I slept with.
In the biggest bedroom at our vacation rental slept the girl trio that Cicely had invited. I liked and knew two of them; Alba and Rosie were fun and eager and welcome to any Whidbey Island shore-cation. But the third girl was bouncy in the wrong places, spelled out her name when she told us to call her ‘Becci’ and had the habit of not speaking much unless Terrence came in the room. I figured she ought to know what she was getting into. I floated into the darkened interior of the big bedroom with Danny O’ Day’s legs hanging limp in front of me. Two girls were asleep in the twin beds, and Becci, looking coltish in a pajama tracksuit, was in a roll-a-way.
I laid Danny O’ Day on top of her covers, turned inward, and propped one molded white hand possessively on her hip.
I snickered on the way back to my bottom bunk, casting weird shadows. I could see that my hair was frizzled straight back on both sides like the eagle’s wings on the hood of the Flash’s cape. I was Tasha the Conqueror, and Tasha the Clever.
There was a gleam in my eye that outmatched the song of the conman that so clearly shone in Danny’s. I imagined him in the other room; his paw making passes at that other girl. I snickered again, low and deep, which must have disturbed Terrence’s dreams, for his steady breath suddenly sucked in and halted, straining for a few tense seconds until it picked up again.
The next morning brought consequences. There was a muffled exclamation heard through the wall, and then pounding footsteps announced the arrival of Becci the bouncing banshee. There was Danny, held out in front of her, shaken with emphasis while she expressed what she thought of ‘men who pretended to be nice’ while all the time they were ‘lewd and crude and a Big Fat Jerk!’ We climbed out of our bunks.
She shoved Danny at Terrence and he passed him along to me while he tried to explain.
Danny ended up cradled in my arms like an errant toddler. I looked down. The little weasel had immediately dropped one molded white hand beneath the v-neck collar of my pajama shirt.
I felt a little bad as Becci hurried to shove clothes in her bag. But no one protested her departure all that much. She stormed out of the vacation rental.
Once the door finished reverberating after her slam we all stood around in subdued silence. I realized that I was the only one not scratching my head and looking puzzled. I took Danny and disappeared before anyone else put the clues together.
That evening Terrence and I had the rental to ourselves for a while. The others had gone grocery shopping, for our shore-cation had settled into deeper conviviality and intimacy with Becci gone. The numbers had improved, and now there were three cheerful friends beside us, who would provide laughter and entertainment once they returned with the snacks. Terrence wandered into the bedroom where I stood at the window, staring out at the darkening waves. Our rental was on the second floor of a set of suites, and a gentle breeze was floating in.
“It’s nice to have a little peace,” he commented, leaning close beside me. I turned and brought us a few inches closer.
“It’s a beautiful night,” I replied with dulcet tones.
“Hmmm,” he rumbled, his voice deep. “Tasha, I wanted to ask you something,” he said.
“Yes?” My heart began beating in anticipation. He was studying my features, and in fact, his face was nearer than ever. His voice was quiet as he answered me.
“That was you this morning wasn’t it? You put Danny O’ Day in that girl’s bed?”
“And you stood there and let her blame me.”
“But you’re the one who brought Danny here, that’s the thing,” I told him. “Anyone could see how lecherous he is.”
“Tasha, it’s a dummy.”
“Ask Becci if she would agree.”
“I brought the dummy because Cicely bought it on Ebay and I picked it up for her on the way.”
We both turned to the window and I let the breeze cool my cheeks. Beside me Terrence chuckled.
“You did look pretty cute when Danny O’ Day had his hand down your shirt,” he grinned.
“Watch it or you’ll find his dismembered paw under your pillow.”
Still smiling he turned to me, his hands dropping to my shoulders. I tipped upwards, my eyes half closed in case he wanted a deeper connection. But the kiss didn’t happen.
“Hey, what’s that?” Terrence said, and we both stared down at the windowsill. Attached to the metal handle was a knot. A rope hung out the window, swaying gently in the ocean breeze. I bit my lip as Terrence reeled up the rope far enough to see what was attached to the other end. It was tied around his middle, and his painted red lips grinned as he was folded over. His dapper trouser pants had descended to his ankles. Danny O’ Day was dangling at the end of the line.