One fine evening, a young lad put on his Adidas trainers and his Adidas trackies and his Joy Division vest and headed out for a walk through Hampstead Heath.
The lad had lived in London for four years, ever since deciding not to go to University in favor of trying his hand at the life of a disc jockey. He wouldn't say it'd gone entirely poorly since he was presently a producer at the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with (the bloody insufferable, prattish thorn-in-his-side) Nick Grimshaw.
Well, he was almost a producer. He had some producer duties. Fuck, he was more like an intern. But he got to be in the booth every morning, and he had his nights to himself to DJ gigs at clubs around town. In fact, he'd had a regular gig at Funkybuddha thanks to his oddly loyal mate, a club promoter named Liam, but then Funkybuddha shut down, so that was that. Anyway, he plays places, and they're mostly bloody better than Funkybuddha ever was.
Tonight he was taking a walk, clearing his mind, because his flatmate Niall was making a right mess and none too quietly in the kitchen with his Magic Bullet, mixing up smoothie after smoothie trying to get the perfect video for Instagram. The lad had said, "I don't know who you think all these followers are, then. Last time I checked you were hovering around 100." And his flatmate had just laughed a bit maniacally and said, "Louis," (for that was the lad's name,) "once me 'n Ed play at the pub, we'll get at least 50 more, so the content better be ready to go." He pronounced the number 50 with no second f, like Fiddy, and not in homage to the American rapper, but because he was Irish.
Sometimes it was that Louis didn't have any patience for his flatmate's unbridled enthusiasm and optimism. So often instead of picking a fight, he would go for a walk.
On this particular evening, he had brought with him something very special and important: an Apple Watch. Not that an Apple Watch in itself would delight the lad, but it was for a segment they were going to do on the show: Watch U Talkin' Bout, Tommo?, where they were going to follow him around for a week and he was going to be on the radio and give clever little reviews of the watch. It would all start after the weekend. Louis was trying to get used to the feel of it, so naturally he was tossing it back and forth from hand to hand, higher and higher into the air. "It is really lightweight, innit?" he mused.
Back and forth, back and forth, and then one toss went a bit wonky, and Louis saw the watch roll down a little hill right into a pond with a swift kerplop! Louis followed it with his eyes, but the watch disappeared, and the pond was so deep that he couldn't see its bottom.
"Bloody fucking hell." Louis poked his toes right against the edge of the gently lapping water and craned his neck. The pond was like fucking sludge, couldn't see a thing. "Truly fucking Jesus fucking Christ. Honestly, FUCK ME!"
As the lad was thus lamenting, someone called out to him, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii."
"Oops!" It was the first thing out of Louis's mouth, like a reflex. He looked left and right but didn't see anyone.
"What's all this, then? All this cursing; I was havin' a kip!"
Louis looked down at that, because he thought that's where the voice was coming from, and sure enough, he saw a frog, who had stuck his thick, ugly head out of the water. "Is this a joke? Are you a fucking talkin' frog, then?"
"Ribbit," the frog replied, sardonically.
"If you must know, I dropped my watch in the fuckin' pond, that's what. Stop looking at me like that."
The frog blinked once, slowly, and then said, "Stop cursing about it, all right? Maybe I could help you."
Louis was, at that point, fresh out of ideas and really needed to get the watch back, so he talked right back to the ugly little frog: "Whatever you want, dear froggie. I've got a spliff in my pocket, I'd share it with ya."
The frog answered, "I do not want your spliff, but if you will love me and accept me as a companion and playmate, and let me sit next to you at your table and eat from your plate and drink from your cup and sleep in your bed, if you will take me into the studio at Radio 1 and introduce me to Nick Grimshaw, and if you will play Fifa with me and sometimes let me win, and if you will look at me with all the fond in your eyes, if you will promise this to me, then I'll dive down and bring your Apple Watch back to you."
"Sure thing, then," the lad said, "I defffffffinitely promise allllllllll of that." But actually, Louis thought, "Honestly, what is this stupid frog trying to say? I wasn't so good in school but I'm pretty fucking sure frogs can't leave water. So, whatevah."
As soon as the frog heard Louis say "yes," he stuck his head under and dove to the bottom. He paddled back up a short time later with the Apple Watch in his mouth and threw it onto the grass. Louis grabbed for it.
"Bit busted, then. Oh well. Thanks, weird little frog." And at that, Louis jogged off, back up to the path and away from the frog.
"Wait, wait," called the frog, "take me along. I cannot run as fast as you." But what did it help him, that he croaked out after the lad in a smoky warble, as loudly as he could? The lad paid no attention to him, but instead hurried home and soon forgot the poor frog, who had to return again to his lily pad in the forgotten pond of Hampstead Heath.
The next day Louis was brewing his tea for brekkie in the kitchen and Niall was at it again with the blasted Magic Bullet when they heard a creeping at the door to the flat: plip, plop, plip, plop. There was a knock at the door, and a voice called out, "Lou?! Open the doooorrrrrrrrrrr."
"What's this, then?" Niall paused the whirring for a moment and stared at Louis, a bit confused.
"I think," and Louis paused for a moment, realized his heart was beating pretty fast. He couldn't believe what he was about to say to Niall; maybe that spliff was laced with something: "I think it's a disgusting frog?"
"And, um, I guess my question is, what does the frog want from you?" Louis could see Niall's fingers itching to get back to his blending.
"I think I promised him that he could, like, eat off my plate and sleep in my bed? And there was some other stuff. I don't know. I thought frogs couldn't leave water?"
"Hate to break it to ya, mate, but frogs are amphibians? They, like, breathe air. I think."
Just then there came a second knock at the door, and a voice began to sing:
When people keep repeating
That you'll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can't seem to get enough
Let my love open the door
Niall shook his head with a laugh. "You've done it now, Louis. I think you've got yourself a frog boyfriend. Better let him in."
Louis went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in, then followed him to the counter where Louis reached for his mug of tea. The frog sat there and called out, "Lift me up next to you."
Louis hesitated, but Niall gave him an urging look. When the frog was seated on the counter he said, "Now start whisking some eggs so we can eat together."
Louis did as the frog told, but one could see that he did not want to.
Also, he did not know how to use the whisk, and the frog had to teach him. When the eggs were cooked and they'd finished them all, the frog said, "Ok, now I'm tired. Carry me to your room and make your bed so that we can go to sleep."
Louis sighed. "Bloody hell, I just woke up. That was breakfast?!" Truth be told, he was tired and going back to bed didn't sound so bad, but the thought of a frog in his brand new sheets was rather revolting.
Niall coughed. "Can I talk with you in the hall, Lou?"
Niall pushed him by the elbow out into the hall and swung him around to look him in the eyes. "Did you get your watch back?"
Louis rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes. I got it back. Not sure if it works, or whatever, but it's back."
"Then I think this frog really did you a solid. And you better take him up to your bed. I've got a good feeling about him, can't explain it."
Louis hated Niall very much sometimes, but he also knew, deep down, that he had an intuitive eye and a keen sense of character. So, in what Louis hoped was not becoming a pattern, he did what he was told yet again.
Louis went to the counter and picked up the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and set him in a corner. As Louis was lying in bed, the frog came creeping up to him and blinked a slow, deliberate blink, right in Louis's face. He said, "I am tiiiiiiiiiired, and I want to sleep as well as you do. Please pick me up and spoon me?" The frog blinked again, almost cutely. "or I'll tell Niall."
Honestly, that was the last straw. Louis picked up the little bugger and tossed him against the wall with all his might. "Are you QUITE finished, you disgusting frog?!"
But when he fell down, he was not a frog, but a gamine, tattooed pop star with beautiful friendly eyes, as green as his skin had just been. Louis felt his cock twitch with interest, had to reach his hand down discreetly and adjust himself.
The former frog shook his shaggy head of hair forward and flipped it back, stared up at Louis from the other side of the room. "Owwwwwwwwww," he whined playfully as he rubbed his upper arm.
"Honestly, mate, what the fuck?"
So he told Louis how his name was Harry and he had been enchanted by an evil warlock named Ben Winston, and that he had always known that a Radio 1 Breakfast Show employee alone could have rescued him from the pond, and that he had thought it might have been Nick Grimshaw, but he had always hoped it would be Tommo, and he was so glad that it was.
"You like me better than Grim, then?"
At that, Harry rose up from against the wall upon which he had been thrown and extended his hand to Louis, who took it and stood up from the bed. He pulled Louis's body against his and stared intently, "I love you, Lou." The only thing for Louis to do was to kiss him, so he did.
The next morning, just as the sun was waking them from their post-coital bliss, a white convertible Mercedes pulled up, driven by Harry's faithful friend Jeff. Jeff had been so saddened by Harry's transformation into a frog that he had had to place three bands of golf tape around his heart to keep it from bursting in grief and sorrow.
The Mercedes was to take Harry and Louis to the airport so that they could fly to Los Angeles, where Jeff was sure Harry would want to go. Jeff let Harry drive, since he knew he loved it, and he let Louis have shotgun, so he folded his little body into the back seat. After Harry had driven a short distance, he heard a ripping from behind, as though something had broken.
He turned around and said, "Um, Jeff, is the car okay? Sorry, maybe I forgot how to drive while I was in that pond."
"It's not the car, Hersh. It's the tape snapping from around my heart, that suffered such great pain when you were a frog."
"Uhhhhhh," Louis interjected, as he would rather not witness this utterly insane display from a seemingly grown man.
Once again, and then once again Harry heard a ripping sound and thought that the car was breaking apart, but it was just the bands springing from faithful Jeff's heart because his friend was now redeemed and happy.
After a bit of driving, Jeff noticed they weren't headed to the airport at all. It seemed they were headed up North. And just for the weekend, because Lou had to get back by Monday for his big radio debut, Watch U Talkin' Bout, Tommo?
And there in London did Harry the popstar and Louis the radio DJ live happily forever after a lovely wedding officiated by their (reluctant on Louis's part, but warming up to it) friend Nick Grimshaw.