“PICNIC LUNCH!” sang Roy and Molly as they strolled to a sunny hill in the park. Molly’s bright sundress fluttered in the breeze, and she unhooked her arm from Roy’s in order to reach up and make sure her bow was still in place.
“You look great, Molly!” Roy smiled. He put down the picnic basket he had been carrying (he had insisted) and unrolled their picnic blanket with a snap that sent his hand flying off. Molly caught it quickly and returned it.
“You really need to be more careful of that, Biv,” she chided. Roy smiled sheepishly.
Thankfully, nobody in the park batted an eye. This park always had been, and still was, open to both humans and monsters. Hands flying off bodies and being reattached was nothing new to anyone.
Roy helped Molly onto the blanket, then sat down himself and began to take out their lunch (Molly’s hands were too big to fit in the basket). Sandwiches, a thermos full of tea, and some pastries from Cuddy’s Café made their stomachs rumble, and the two chowed down.
It was a shame that Kip was working today. If anyone needed a vacation, it was Kip. They had at least gotten to say hi to him when they picked up the pastries and told him of their lunch plans. He had wished them well and then quickly gotten to work on a new order. Always busy, Molly thought.
After their food was devoured, Roy and Molly sat on the checkered blanket, sipping their tea. In a bandstand not too far from them, a string quartet played a song:
Roy got an idea. He gulped down the last of his tea and stood, reaching a hand down to Molly.
“May I have this dance, Molly?” he asked, grinning widely.
Molly smiled back and set down her tea.
“Of course, Biv!” she said.
Roy took her hand and lead her over near the bandstand, where a number of people stood listening. Roy began to sway, and Molly followed. He twirled her and watched as her dress circled and swished around her knees. They hooked arms again and did a sort of do-si-do, skipping around in a circle.
Upon looking up, they saw that many listeners were watching them, and some had even joined in the dancing. Molly laughed as she twirled again, spinning Roy as well.
The rest of their dance was an amalgam of different steps from different dance styles, and they ended with a sort of Irish jig. The quartet finished playing, and Molly and Roy bowed as the crowd began to clap. Molly smiled up at Roy, her nose crinkling under her glasses. Roy might have blushed.
But Molly’s smile quickly turned wicked. She took off her shoes without Roy noticing, then sprinted off.
“First person back to the blanket wins!” she called back.
Roy, who had been too entranced by her smile, didn’t register what Molly had said until she was halfway there. He took off in a run and would have won the race had his ankle not slipped off in the final stretch.
Molly flopped down, breathing hard but laughing all the same.
“I win!” she yelled.
“No fair!” Roy said, sticking his ankle back onto his leg. “I demand a rematch!”
“Don’t be a sore loser, Biv!”
Roy walked to the blanket in defeat and laid down on it, stretching out until his stitches popped.
“I could stay like this forever!” he said.
“Yeah,” said Molly thoughtfully, pouring her cold tea back into the thermos and packing up their lunch.
“We should come back tonight!” Roy said, shooting up. “Maybe Kip’ll come with us!”
“What would we do?” asked Molly.
“Stargaze! I love stargazing!” said Roy. “I mean, I’m no good at it because I can never see the constellations, but the night sky is always so nice!”
“Sounds like a plan,” she said.
Molly and Roy returned after dinner. Kip was busy blogging (again), but he promised he would come with them the next time they wanted to stargaze.
They set down their blanket (this time without any important body parts flying off) and laid back. Off in the distance, the string quartet was still playing, this time a quieter, melodic piece:
It took a bit for their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Roy spotted the first star.
“Look!” he said, pointing north of Molly’s view. “That one’s pretty bright, huh?”
“Yeah,” Molly said, squinting. “I think that’s the North Star.”
She pointed a finger at the star and traced a line down the sky.
“That must be the Little Dipper,” she said.
“I think I see Orion too!” said Roy. He put his hand near Molly’s. “See those three stars in a row?”
“But there are also three stars in a row over there!” said Molly, pointing in a different direction. “And… I think those three are also in a row? How do we know which one is Orion’s Belt?”
Molly laughed. Roy felt his heart flutter.
“Do you think we’ll see a shooting star tonight, Biv?” asked Molly.
“I hope so!” Roy stretched himself back on the blanket, using his arms as a pillow. Molly did the same.
“What would you wish for, Molly? If we saw one?” asked Roy. Even in the dark, he could see the rosy color that Molly’s face had turned after a day in the sun. Though her body was relaxed, all four of her eyes were alert, on the lookout for shooting stars.
“The usual,” she said.
“What’s the usual?”
“Peace between humans and monsters.”
They were silent for a few beats.
“What would you wish for?” Molly asked, keeping her eyes on the sky. She didn’t see Roy gazing at her, wondering if he should tell her she was his wish.
Roy sighed. He’d tell her another day.
“If you have world peace covered,” he said, “Then I’d wish for more moments like this. Just us, being together, being happy. You know?”
“I know,” Molly murmured, nodding.
They didn’t see a shooting star that night, but they promised each other that they’d keep coming back to stargaze until they saw one. Because maybe, just maybe, if they wished hard enough on it, their wishes would finally come true.