Disclaimers! I don't own 'em. I won't make any money at this. Please don't sue me. Thank you.
I've decided to answer one of the challenges on senfic. It's based on what happened to me several years ago. There was this frog...
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"Jim! Get it off me! JIIIIIMMMMM!" Blair's voice was still echoing when Jim burst into the bathroom, gun drawn, ready for anything that could cause the panic he heard in his friend's voice. Anything but what he saw.
"Geez, Sandburg. I thought there was a problem." He engaged the safety on his pistol and set it down on the sink.
"Get it off me! Please? Just get it off me. Kill it. Kill it. Killitkillitkillit." The hysteria only obvious in the trembling younger man. His eyes were tightly shut, the shower curtain gripped tightly in his hands, his entire body trembling with horror.
"Blair, it's just a tree frog."
"Get it OFF me. NOW!" He was starting to hyperventilate.
"OK. Hold still. There. Look, it's just a little tree frog." Jim held the small creature out for Blair to look at. It was a pale, greenish-tan, with black spots on its back, a pale, almost translucent underside, and typical tree frog feet. The body of the small amphibian was just under an inch and a half.
"Get it AWAY from me!" Blair was shaking, still. "Kill it."
"Blair, what is wrong with you? It's harmless."
"It's a toad. Kill it."
"It's a tree frog. Harmless. I'll take it outside and turn it loose...after I get dressed." Jim promised. This was worse than the lizard Blair had gotten in his pants the first time they went to Peru together. He gently carried the small creature upstairs, placing it on his dresser while he quickly dressed. It just sat there, looking at him, not even trying to escape when he picked it back up to take outdoors. He went down the street to the park and turned the creature loose. It hopped quickly away.
"You want to explain why you were so upset about the frog, Sandburg?" Jim asked when he got back. He'd stopped at the bakery for bagels and muffins on his way back from releasing the frog.
"I just don't like being startled by something jumping on me in the shower, OK, man?" Blair realized that he had overreacted, and was trying, desperately, to get his friend to back off.
"Fine. Don't tell me." He grinned at his partner. "Wait 'til the guys hear about this. You wanting me to shoot a little frog..."
"You wouldn't. Oh, man. Please, tell me you won't tell?" Pleading voice and biggest puppy-dog eyes.
"It really freaked you out, didn't it?" Jim asked softly.
"Yeah. It did. Maybe when I've calmed down, I can tell you about it. But, not now, OK?"
"OK." Jim finished his muffin and drank the last of his coffee. "You coming in this morning?"
"Yeah. I don't have anything to do at school this week, at all." He grinned at his partner. "I suppose you have three weeks worth of reports to catch up on?"
"Nah. Only one week." Teasing.
It was a long, hard, day. They had ended up in a foot chase after a suspect. Tackling the convenience store thief in someone's front yard, sliding in the mud and getting coated with the slimy muck. Turning their suspect over to the uniformed officers for transport, Jim and Blair looked at each other and laughed. Borrowing the homeowner's hose, they rinsed off as much of the mud as they could and headed home to shower and change. Simon, who had arrived in time to see the tackle, told them to take the rest of the day off and fill out their reports in the morning. Chuckling at the sight of the pair.
"Some time off. We were due off half an hour ago, Jim." Blair muttered. Shivering on his side of the truck, even with the heater on high. Jim just grinned.
"You can have the first shower, Chief." Jim offered when they got home.
"Thanks, man." Blair slopped off to the bathroom, grateful for the chance to warm up. He had stripped out of his soggy clothes and turned on the taps for the shower, when he saw it.
"JIM! IT'S BACK! I THOUGHT YOU GOT RID OF IT!" He grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his shivering body as Jim came in.
"Are you sure? Maybe it's a different one?" Jim asked, surprised. When he saw the frog, he stared. He was certain it was the same one. "Well, it looks like the same one. I'll take it down and back to the park, OK?"
"Yeah, well, make sure it doesn't hitch a ride back with you this time." Blair muttered.
Jim took the small creature back to the park, tossing it in the pond, watching it swim away. By the time he returned to the loft, he was shivering, still in his wet clothes and the wind having picked up.
After his shower, gratefully accepting a cup of fresh coffee from his roommate, he settled on the couch to channel surf. Sipping his coffee, he glanced at his friend. "So, why are you afraid of frogs?"
"I'm not afraid of them. It has something to do with toads. When I first started driving? Someone thought it would be a great joke to cover my car with dead toads. I was totally grossed out. I couldn't even get in the car, there were so many. They were all flat and desiccated, you know, road kill? Anyway, I was pretty freaked by it all. I can handle them, but I'd rather not." He shuddered at the memory.
"Ouch. No wonder you freaked out. I'm sorry."
"Yeah, well. It was kinda cute, wasn't it?" Blair asked tentatively
"I certainly thought so. It was pretty friendly, too. It didn't try to escape, even this morning when I had to set it down to get dressed. It just sat there, watching me." He grinned. "Well, you won't have to worry about it. This time, I threw it in the pond at the park."
"Good." He looked at his friend. "Uh, Jim?"
"I didn't really want you to kill it, you know."
They ordered in Chinese for dinner, spent the night watching movies, and went to bed at their usual times.
"Jim! It's back again." He wasn't nearly as freaked out as the two previous times.
"It can't be." Jim came in. Blair hadn't yet stripped for his shower, having decided to check for frogs, first. There it was. On the shower wall, quietly looking at them.
"How do you suppose it keeps getting in here?" Blair asked in wonder. Cautiously, he reached out one finger to just barely touch the tiny creature. It didn't jump. It just looked at him, with it's bright beady black eyes. "It isn't afraid of us." Awed.
"Look, it keeps coming back. I know there isn't anything for it to eat in here, except maybe the occasional fly that gets in," Jim looked thoughtfully at his friend. "Look, I'm just going to put it out on the balcony, OK?"
"Sure. I can handle that." Watching as Jim picked up the little creature and gently carried it out onto the balcony, following him out to watch. Shivering when Jim opened the door to put the frog out. "Jim?"
"Won't he be cold out there?"
"Well, if I know he's there, I don't really mind him being in the bathroom. Maybe if we put him in the plants in the window?"
Jim stared at his roommate. "Yesterday, you were screaming for me to kill it, now you want to keep it as a pet?"
"Well, I don't know. What do they eat?"
"Bugs. I am not bringing bugs in here for a frog."
"No, no. Of course not. Maybe we can get some frog food from the pet store?"
"Only if it doesn't involve bugs, Chief." He agreed. Gently carrying the small amphibian back to the bathroom and setting it in the plants in the window, where it contentedly remained for many months, with Blair picking up meal worms at the pet store to feed it. Until one day it simply disappeared the same way it had appeared, with no warning, no way of knowing how, or why.
Our frog stayed for over a year. It came one spring, taking up residence in my bonsai trees in the bathroom window (actually just above the bath tub) It seemed to like the warm shower and would allow me to pick it up and pet it. I admit that the first time it jumped, I was startled. It took my roommate a little longer to stop trying to throw the thing outside. It came back a dozen times, until we just let it be. The following spring, it went away, never to be seen or heard from again. Oh, the dead toads? Someone took several roadkill toads and put them on my windshield and driver's side window. I had to get in the car from the passenger side and drive fast enough for them to blow off, as I am extremely phobic about dead things.
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