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Wish Orbs Are Serious Lumping Business; Or, Donna Meagle Gets a Concussion

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"Oh my glob, you guys are the lumping worst!"

Lumpy Space Princess slammed the castle door. She could still hear her mother's disappointed wails through the porous walls, begging her to reconsider and move back home for like the millionth time.

Stupid lumpy building materials and their lack of sound-proofing abilities. Stupid house, stupid parents, stupid Brad and his birthday party that she didn't even care about not being invited to, okay, it wasn't like she was jealous or anything. She had been in front of his house, with her binoculars, for a completely different reason, and his party was lame and stupid anyway, and she hated it.

"Ugh! I'm so lumping fed up with this whole lumping world!" she shouted.

No one said anything. Everyone who was anyone was at Brad's party. The stars blinked back at her, hanging out in the sky all too-cool-for-school.

"Don't think I didn't mean you, too, stars, because I totally did!"

But weeeeee didn't dooooooo anything wroooooong, the stars said. Their voices were all weird and shimmery. Weeeeeee're on youuuuuuuuuur siiiiiiiiiiiiiiide.

"You are?" LSP narrowed her eyes.

Mmmmmmmm-hmmmmmmmm, the stars replied. Weeeeeeee saw that Braaaaaaad didn't inviiiiiite youuuuuuuuu. That was toooooootally laaaaaaaaaame.

"It so. Was!" LSP gasped. Finally, someone who got it... not like her parents, who kept going on about "being the bigger person" (um, of course she was the bigger person? She had lumps from here to next week, thank you very much, and proud of it) or Melissa, who was all, "stop trying to dance up on my man," and was clearly the worst best friend ever. Even Turtle Princess, who was supposed to be on her side because of, like, the rules of princessdom, was too busy hanging out with Billy and reading books to really sympathize.

She looked up at the sky. "You guys wanna come TP Brad's house with me?" She reached into her lumps. "I've got, like, a billion rolls of TP and mad good aim."

Weeeeeee caaaaaaaan't -- weeeeeee're hunnnnnnnnndreds of liiiiiiiiiiiiightyears awaaaaaaaaaay, they sighed.

"Bummer."

Buuuuuuut weeeeee can still hellllllllllllp youuuuuuuuu!

LSP bounced up and down. "Can you send a giant comet to come and crash into the party? Because you should totally aim for Melissa's stupid face. It's really big. And stupid."

Weeeeeee have something eeeeeeeeven betterrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Personally, LSP wasn't sure that anything could be better than her frenemy being walloped by a comet, but she didn't say that. After all, the stars were her new friends now, and part of friendship was keeping your mouth shut when your friends did lame stuff. (Okay, so maybe she would say it later, to somebody else. As like a total secret.)

Heeeeere it cooooooomes!

At first, it looked like one of the stars had detached itself from the others and was floating towards her across the vastness of space. As it came closer, though, LSP could see that it was orange-y and yellowish, not white like a star. It didn't seem to be traveling all that fast, but she blinked and it was right above her, hovering over her like a firefly.

"Oh. My. Glob," she whispered. "You guys did not just send me a Wish Orb!"

The stars made a tinkly noise -- they were laughing, LSP realized. Whaaaaaat are youuuuuu going to wiiiiiiiiiish foooooooor?

"I don't even know, I mean, there's just so much to choose from! Do you happen to have, like, a couple million more of those things?" she asked.

Soooorryyyyyyy --- juuuuuust the ooooooone. And rememmmmmmberrrrrrrrr, noooooooo taaaaaake-baaaaaaaaacks!

"Figures," LSP muttered. She closed her eyes, and thought about all the things she wished she could change in her life: her parents and their constant nagging, her traitor friend Melissa and dumb Brad, that barf of a woman at Ooo's best mall, Ye Olde Ooo Shoppes, who told her they didn't carry clothes in lumpy sizes. One wish wasn't enough for all of the people in the universe that she wanted to change so they appreciated her more. Not even close.

She opened her eyes again. The Wish Orb bobbed in front of her. "I wish that I could just. Go. Away," she said, "somewhere they'd never find me, and then they'd all appreciate what I -- "

The void sucked her in before she finished her sentence.

(It was going to be a really good sentence, too.)

--

The interdimensional void was, like, kind of sweet, but also way boring? Falling for an eternity, becoming one with nothingness, every atom of her being pulled apart and put back together in a hundred million different configurations.

Over it.

--

The sound of voices gradually filtered through her mind.

"Damnit, Jerry, I told you not to spill your iced tea all over the floor!"

"I don't even drink -- "

"Now is not the time!"

"Donna, can you hear me?"

A warm hand on her shoulder.

She had shoulders!

LSP opened her eyes. She was lying on a floor in a hallway somewhere, with a bunch of humans gathered around: an old lumpy-looking sad guy; a short dark guy in a killer suit with a lavender tie; a big guy with a dark-haired girl next to him; and a pretty woman with her hand on LSP's newly acquired shoulder.

The woman leaned in. She was really thin, too. LSP wanted to not like her, but her eyes were kind and her voice was soft. "Are you feeling okay? You hit your head on the ground pretty hard when you fell."

"Nice going, Jerry!" hissed the little dude with awesome taste.

The old guy winced.

"Where am I," LSP said. Her voice sounded funny.

The woman's mouth got all squinchy and worried, and her brows pulled down. She was probably going to get premature wrinkling. She shone a little pocket light into LSP's new eyes.

"You're at the office," she said. "I think you might have a concussion."

"I think you might have a concussion," said LSP.

"That's not how --"

"I googled Doctor Oz's address and I have a MedEvac helicopter on standby!" A blonde woman strode in, wearing a pantsuit and holding a cell phone aloft. "They can't land on the roof because of the dome -- Andy, take the chalker for the baseball fields and go make a landing pad in the parking lot!"

"On it, boss!"

"That's really not necessary -- we can just take her to the hospital the regular way," the pretty woman said. "Donna, can you stand?"

So her name was Donna. Not bad. Way classier than "Melissa," at least.

"I feel fine," LSP said, sitting up. She touched her new head. She really needed to get in front of a mirror, but from what she could tell, her hair was rocking. "I must have just, like, fallen asleep for a second or something. We don't need to make a whole big deal out of it."

"Are you sure?" said the small guy. "Maybe we should test her -- something she should know easily."

"Who is the only president to come from Indiana?" Lady Pantsuit called out.

("Does anyone know that?" the small dude whispered.)

LSP looked out at the concerned faces gathered among her. Okay, she thought. You can do this. Focus that hot, hot mind of yours.

"That guy," she said, pointing to the sad, lumpy dude.

"Well, f***," said Lady Pantsuit.

--

So they took her to some hospital and a hot doctor poked at her and wrote some things down. Apparently they thought she had amnesia? LSP felt kind of bad, because everyone was looking at her all sad and stuff that she couldn't remember them, but it was also kind of annoying.

"I'M REALLY SORRY YOU SLIPPED AND BROKE YOUR BRAIN," Andy bellowed.

"Um, I lost my memory, not my hearing," LSP said. "But thanks."

By now, she had pretty much gotten their names down. Lady Pantsuit -- or Leslie, as she learned -- came in after they finished all the tests and gave her a handmade book with pictures of all her friends and their names and important facts. ("Leslie Knope. Pawnee City Councilwoman, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Department, JJ's Diner All-Star Waffle Eater since 1997.")

"I can't believe you put this together so quickly," LSP said, slowly turning the pages. "How did you paint all these watercolors?"

"I did it three years ago for Jerry," Leslie said easily. "With his health, I figured he was due for some kind of early-onset memory loss. Look, there's a page for you."

Donna Meagle. Assistant Manager, Parks and Recreation Department. Amateur Interior Decorator. Killing it, 24/7.

"This is the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me," LSP said, and meant it.

After the hospital discharged her, Tom drove her home in her own car.

"I really own this?" she asked, running her hand over the leather upholstery, the mahogany dashboard wood.

"It's your baby," Tom said. In Leslie's book, his description had read, "invented swag," but there was something insecure about the set of his mouth. Maybe he was just trying to be careful with her car; she could understand that.

But after he walked her into her house and made sure she knew where the lights and the coffee maker were, he took a deep breath and said, "I'm sorry, but I gotta come clean. It wasn't Jerry's iced tea you slipped on. It was mine."

"What?" LSP blinked.

Tom scraped his fingers through his meticulously styled hair, and then dropped his hand back down. He paced back and forth across the Italian marble tiles of Donna's entryway. "I bought this new carafe from The Sharper Image -- it has an LCD screen so you can program your ideal beverage temperature, and I thought I set it to forty degrees, so that it would be cool but not frozen, but it turns out that the company that made them came from, like, Norway or something where they use Celsius so I picked it up and it was hot-hot-hot and burned my fingies and I'm sorry, I am totally sorry, okay -- I tried to use my scarf to mop it up, but you know poly-treated cashmere is water resistant!"

LSP understood about half of that, but she was pretty sure she grasped the big picture. Tom had by now hidden in the corner of her entryway, his face pressed against the wall.

"Tom," she said, coming up to him and placing a hand on his shoulder. (Shoulders really were the best.) "It's okay."

"It's not! You could have really gotten hurt!"

"And you could have not told me," she said. "You could have kept it a secret, and let me walk around like a lumping -- like a damned idiot, never knowing the real story. But you manned up, and I appreciate that. You are a true friend, Tom Haverford. You made me believe in friendship again."

Tom slowly turned around. "For realsies?" he sniffed

"For realsies," LSP said. "Now come here, let's hug it out."

--

That night, after she went to bed -- she raided her new wardrobe to find sleepwar, aka a sequined dress with silver lamé pantyhose and a ton of bling -- Finn and Jake showed up in one of her dreams.

"Lumpy Space Princess!" Finn cried out. "We're here to rescue you!"

"Rescue me from what?" In the dream, she was lumpy again, but her voice still sounds like Donna's.

"From the horrors of live action!" Jake said.

Finn added, "Those stars tricked you -- if you stay here, they'll use your powers to punch a hole in the interdimensional void and suck all the magic out of Ooo!"

"Are you lumping kidding me?" said the LSP. "But I just got here! Tom and I were going to go to the Plaza at Eagleton tomorrow -- there's a sale at Benetton!"

"I'm really sorry, LSP," Finn said, "but you have to come with us."

He held out his hand.

"All right," LSP sighed. "But there better be waffles when I get there."

She reached out her lumpy hand, and clasped with Finn's human one, and everything went black.

---

Donna woke up to her iPhone alarm. Usually, she had it set to her cousin Ginuwine, but today some weird low-fi techno groove was playing.

She reached out to shut off the alarm -- and saw her sleeve.

"What the f*** am I wearing?"