Wake-up call

by Sharon Himmanen

Time: Early morning
Place: NatPack HQ

"AGH!" Sharon yelled, her tousled head emerging from under several layers of sheets and blankets. "What the..."

Outside, a din loud enough to wake the dead was ensuing. Was someone having a block party, she wondered as she staggered to her feet and pulled on a robe. Making her way over to the window she vaguely thought about calling the police and complaining about the racket.

(She hadn't had her morning coffee yet, and as such had forgotten that there was a war on).

Pulling the curtain aside she squinted out into the pale morning light just as a red and white firework burst just outside the window.

"GAH!" she gasped involuntarily, stepping back away from the loud noise and bright lights. There was nothing pretty, bright or shiny about any of this, she thought grimly as she made her way to the window again and cautiously peeked out. Another burst of fireworks accompanied the snarl of guitars and through the smoke and haze Sharon made out...well, she wasn't quite sure what. She vaguely remembered something years ago resembling this--a group of grown men in spandex and heavy face makeup pranced about on a flatbed truck trying desperately to hide behind the smoke of the fireworks. What was the name of the group these guys were prestending to be. She remembered seeing them on lunch boxes when she was a kid.

What was it? SMOOCH? No, she frowned. That wasn't it. She rubbed her eyes. Jamie liked this group, if she remembered. What was their name? PUCKER-UP? LIPLOCK?

Then she had it. KISS! KISS? Not the real KISS... Well, considering they seemed to have died out as a fad in the 80s it was entirely possible they were now doing block parties from the back of flatbed trucks. This merited further investigation.


She'd resorted to pulling the plug on their portable generator to get the music to stop and wasn't at all surprised to hear a loud round of applause issue forth from the houses and appartments up and down the street. It was then that she discovered that these guys barely knew one end of the guitar from the other.

"So let me get this straight," she said attempting not to yawn and trying not to think about the fact that she was standing in the middle of the street in her robe talking to a guy with a big black star on his face. "You're KISS impersonators."

"That's right," he nodded.

Sharon threw up her hands. "Why are you here?"

"Oh, well, somebody named Jamie got a ticket to the KISS reunion tour."

"Yeah? And? She was so overjoyed she decided to treat all her friends to a little slice of KISS?"

"Yeah," he said, grinning. "Exactly. You want us to start playing again?"

"No, no!" Sharon said, holding up her hands quickly. Then she looked at him thought fully for a moment. "Do you guys do impersonations other than KISS?"

"Us? No. We don't even look like them but they're easy to impersonate with the wigs and makeup and all. But we do work for a pretty good company."

Sharon grinned as an idea began to take shape. "I'll be right back," she said.

When she returned she was carrying an autographed picture of The Nightcrawler. "Do you think your company can find someone who looks like this?" she asked, holding up the picture.

He studied it for a moment. "Yeah, I think we can get something pretty close."

"Good, I'll need him, and someone short dressed in an Elmo costume. Here's what I want you to do..." she said, leading him to the side and quietly outlining her plan.

He looked pretty disgusted for a moment. "I can pay," Sharon said.

His face dissolved into a grin at that. "Well, OK, then. I'll call you when everything's in place."

"Excellent," Sharon said.

And then realized she'd managed to pull all that together before morning coffee which was nothing short of a miracle when she thought about it. She'd have to remember to thank Jamie, but she somehow doubted Jamie would appreciate the outcome of that.

[War Stories]