Looking up, Mitch saw the most beautiful girl he had ever laid eyes on. She was wearing a Lilly dress with a gold, monogrammed necklace. She had red hair, and at a height of no more than 3’7” was right at eye level with him. Mitch couldn’t believe his eyes and momentarily forgot the predicament that he had found himself in. After breaking into this girl’s apartment to narrowly avoid two very dangerous people with ridiculous nicknames, Mitch needed to find Phil to continue on his journey. But suddenly none of that mattered as this girl spun and made eye contact with him. He was stunned. In all of the near death experiences he had found himself in over the past week’s worth of adventures, his heart had yet to pound so vociferously. He tried to talk to her in an attempt to explain why he was here, but he couldn’t get his mouth to do what his brain told it to.
“Что ты здесь делаешь?” she asked in Russian. He was beyond confused with her speaking a foreign language, but somehow her speaking with a thick Russian accent helped calm his nerves enough to get a response out.
“I…uhh, yeah,” Mitch stammered, “English? Yeah?” Despite being a business major, Mitch had never sounded dumber in his entire life. Fortunately, she understood what Mitch was trying to say and laughed. It was an odd sounding laugh; however it was an impossibly infectious one and Mitch joined in.
“Yes, I speak English,” she exclaimed in an overly sorority-girl-esque tone. She likewise began to find her heart skipping a beat as she gazed upon the stupefied Mitch that stood at eye level with her. Clearly each had found comfort in knowing that there was another short person out there just like them. “What are you doing here? My name’s Madeline! But don’t tell anyone that. I’m actually a Russian spy under the codename Алина!…” She couldn’t help herself. She was doing plenty of talking for both of them, immediately deeming him worthy of knowing a big secret of hers. They were each acting strictly via nervous reactions, and it just so happened that their nervousness meshed very well. Because as Madeline continued talking, all Mitch was capable of was to sit there and listen to her go on. “…This is where I’ve been staying. What do you think? I’m not a fan of the wall color, but I don’t think I can paint over it…” She said as she began to laugh that infectious laugh once more. The pep in her voice was almost tangible. She was astonishingly sunny as she spoke. Obviously it was a very genuine trait of hers, and one that Mitch was immediately growing fond of. However, as she continued talking cheerfully about everything in her room while Mitch thought quietly to himself, he couldn’t help but feel that perhaps there was more to her. “…And THIS is my favorite Lilly dress!…” He heard her say so joyfully that he briefly lost track of his thoughts. He smiled. He didn’t care at all that that was her favorite Lilly dress – whatever that meant – but he was overjoyed at how happy it made her to talk about it. And there that idea was again. Could she really be this enthusiastic about life? Or was she compensating for something? Mitch suspected the latter. He figured that she probably did it to cover up her fear of…
“Mitch,” Phil broke his train of thought with his no nonsense tone, “Who are you talking to?” What a crazy ride for Mitch the past 30 seconds was. He had been so lost in both his own thoughts and the eyes of the future Mrs. Lambert that he had forgotten all about Phil and their quest.
“Hi,” Madeline responded in her super happy voice, “I’m Madeline!” Her smile beamed so brightly that even Phil couldn’t stay pretend mad at Mitch.
“Nice to meet you,” Phil replied with his best attempt at a smile, “but we kind of have to go. We’re being chased by some psychopaths and I’m sure they’ll be back soon.” Phil provided a much needed voice of reason as Mitch was so far gone inside his own mind.
“Do you mean Dish Girl and Rosh Ashanah?” Madeline asked. Somehow she even asked that question with a delightful smile on her face.
“Yes,” Mitch replied as fast as he could. He was initially unaware of why he had responded so quickly to her question. Then Madeline turned from facing Phil to facing him again because he had answered her question, and she smiled. Just then he knew exactly why his subconscious had made him be first to speak up – just to see her smile again. He was clearly hooked. Unfortunately, nobody was there to make fun of him for this because Phil was oblivious to what was happening right in front of him. This was due in large part to the fact that two psychopaths were at the forefront of his mind and not Mitch’s romantic escapades, but was still inexcusable.
“They’re not psychotic,” Madeline spoke in a still joyful tone with a giant smile, “just misunderstood.” With any other person, Mitch and Phil would’ve had to ask a few more questions to get the full story. But because it was Madeline, before they could blink she was already explaining how they came to be what they were in her most effervescent way. “Dish Girl’s actually name is Sarah. Her dad’s name is Alka and he’s the inventor of Alka-Seltzer, a drug that he named after himself.” The pace with which she spoke was blistering as she went full sorority girl on them. She described a formal affair where Alka attended with his daughter, Sarah. They were unsure on the details of the situation because of just how much Madeline talked, but it seemed as though Sarah found herself indebted to Queen Brit due to the fear that something might happen to her dad. Madeline also said that Asha had a similar backstory which is why they were paired up.
After Madeline’s epic backstory description, Phil asked, “Well, it’s nice to know that they’re actually nice enough people, but how does that help us? How can we get past these two? Do you know that?”
“Can you fake cry?” Madeline asked.
“We can do anything if we put our minds to it,” Mitch said before realizing he sounded like a kid from the magic school bus. He really had a problem in trying to be himself around this girl. As Phil looked at him like he was an idiot, Madeline just laughed like she did at everything.
“Well, that’s good because Sarah’s overly sympathetic,” Madeline began to tell them the secret to getting past these two. “If you can cry in front of her, she’ll stop and let you go. And Asha is pretty much her sidekick. So, if you get Sarah to call it off, they’ll both back off.”
“That’s it?” Phil asked completely surprised. “I’m pretty sure she tried to kill us earlier.”
Madeline laughed. “No, silly, they wouldn’t do that,” she even said that in a lively tone. “They would’ve found a humane way to do Queen Brit’s bidding. They always do, despite their reputation. Dish Girl is constantly empathizing with others. She probably cares more about your well-being than you do. On the one hand it’s very nice of her, but on the other hand she exhausts herself doing so which can be sad to watch.” Madeline probably could’ve kept going on for another five minutes about Sarah and Asha, but suddenly there was a noise down the hall. After a second to process it, it was an innocuous typical sound of any hotel building.
“So, what’s Queen Brit’s story?” Mitch asked. “How can we get by her?”
“Oh, she has no secret,” Madeline said cheerfully. “She’s pretty much pure evil,” Madeline said while laughing. That was definitely not what Mitch and Phil wanted to hear. Even still, they decided that they should probably get moving pretty soon. So, with their new information they left behind the future Mrs. Lambert and walked towards the elevator.