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Shadow Theater Presents: The Megillah of Esther

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hey guys party at my place 2morow hametachen + wine wear costumes k xoxo annie

The first order of business was for everyone to get sloshed. Annie explained that this was a time-honored Purim tradition, and quoted sources to them in what no one could prove wasn't Hebrew. Plus, she had made up a literal "orders of business" list, printed in color and laminated, and the first item clearly read: Everyone must get sloshed. Jeff had thoughtfully provided a bottle of wine after declaring the the stuff she'd bought undrinkable. Annie asked him later how much it had cost, but he wouldn't answer.

Jeff poured wine for everyone except Shirley, while Troy and Abed brought plates of hamentaschen with different fillings from the kitchen, and Annie indulged herself in a lecture on the etymology of the word 'hamentaschen'.

"It's Yiddish, by way of German, and it means poppy seed cookie!" she concluded with a flourish of her hands.

"Ew!" said Britta. "Poppy seeds are gross, and they make you pee positive drug tests."

Troy pushed a plate in her direction while trying to explain through a full mouth that the chocolate-filled ones are the best, because chocolate is always the best.

Britta wasn't paying attention, though, because she had gotten into an argument with Jeff about whether or not she had ever tested positive for drugs, and whether or not it was all a big mistake. Annie ate one date-filled hamentasch (the singular of hamentaschen, which is the plural, of course) and drank a half a glass of wine, almost, because it always made her dizzy. After that she recruited Shirley to help her usher everyone into the blanket fort for the main event.

She'd promised Pierce that if he was good all evening she'd let him open the curtains on her special shadow puppet presentation. Much to her surprise, it actually worked. The curtain came up on a scene in the ancient city of Shushan.

"Hey, that's Princess Annie!" said Troy, scattering hamentasch crumbs all over the bottom bunk.

"No it isn't," said Abed helpfully. "It's Princess Esther. I helped Annie convert some of the shadow puppets yesterday, so she can put on a special Purim presentation."

"Thank you, Abed," said Annie from behind the curtain, "but please don't give away the ending!"

The presentation was a huge success. Annie felt like it would definitely come to overshadow her lackluster directorial debut in the annals of theatrical history. Princess Annie played the role of Esther, the clever but humble Jewish girl. Woodsman Troy, with an appropriate newspaper crown, played King Ahasuerus. Count Spaghetti was a natural choice for the evil vizier Haman, and at the end of the play, everyone cheered when Mordecai rode Bebad the Unicorn throughout the great city of Shushan.

"Come on," said Shirley afterward. "I'll help you with the dishes."

Annie smiled. "It was a good party, wasn't it?"

Shirley smiled back, and nodded. "I liked your cookies, especially the ones with the red jam."

"Thank you!" said Annie brightly. She glanced over her shoulder to see what was up in the living room. Britta and Jeff were crumpled all over each other in the blanket fort, sleepily cheering for the play that was long over. Abed and Troy looked like they were about to start a lightsaber duel or something. Only Pierce was hanging around alone, near the side table where she kept fresh flowers on special occasions.

"I'd love to get the recipe from you," Shirley was saying, "the boys love it when I bake special things, and they've never tried these before."

Not knowing how to explain that the hamentaschen were store-bought, Annie inched out of the kitchen, still toweling dry a steaming hot plate. She wandered over to where Pierce was standing, to keep him company. He looked up, startled.

"Sorry, Annie," he said, hastily putting down a photo in a silver-colored frame. "I didn't mean to pry."

She smiled. "It's okay, Pierce. Anything that's out here, I don't mind you looking at."

"Well, in that case," he said, and picked the frame back up to show her. "Is this you?"

The sight of it brought back good memories, and Annie smiled. "That's me dressed up as Queen Esther, the year I was nine. Wow. I haven't dressed up for Purim in years. I guess that's why I wanted to make this little party, and the shadow puppet play."

Pierce put the photo back on the table gently. "You make a good princess, Annie. Say, you got any more of those cookies?"