History Repeating, Part 5
See part 1 for disclaimers
Lisa wandered onto the humid, plant-enriched surface of Melodious. In front of her, Leela stomped through the wild-growing vines with the stealth and whiplash-quickness of a panther.
Lisa was grateful that Leela had offered her a can of spray-on clothing; she had felt awkward, spending the day in her hospital gown. The dark red overalls reminded her of the ones she had left behind with her parents, hundreds of years ago.
"According to this, the address of delivery is five miles deep in this jungle." Leela checked the address label on the package tucked beneath her arm one more time before continuing to shove through the underbrush with her free arm. She called over her shoulder, "Lisa! Can you handle yourself?"
"Oh yes," she said, following Fry's path through the thick vegetation. Bender, though clearly not happy about it, brought up the rear.
Miles passed. Lisa felt a weakness overcoming her, gradually and thoroughly as the death of a day. She kept her eyes focused on the bright denim blue of Fry's jeans, keeping the rhythm of her walk steady, even.
Then she turned her eyes to the boots Leela had given to her that morning. They were thick and heavy, like Leela's, shiny.
So very heavy. Suddenly, Lisa wanted to do nothing more than curl up on the ground and sleep.
Abruptly, the chain of motion stopped, and Lisa clung to Fry's calves to keep herself upright.
"There's a clearing up ahead," Leela whispered. "We need to move quickly. There may be predators waiting."
"How am I supposed to know, Fry?"
"The kind with sharp teeth?" Fry's voice became higher, almost squeaky. "And claws?" it cracked, and Leela let out an agitated sigh, hacking a path through the jungle and yanking him through it with a hand locked around his left wrist.
The chain of motion stopped once more, and Lisa looked up in annoyance...
And into a large, saxophone-shaped water fountain.
Beyond her, in shades of deep red and earthen brown, she saw a city rising, the sound of Monk and Brubek playing somewhere in the distance. Suddenly invigorated, she ran past Leela.
"It's paradise!" she cried out. Suddenly, her energy had been returned to her tenfold, and her legs propelled her into the city. Before she could follow her instincts, however, Leela's arm was a band around her waist.
"Lisa, wait! It could be a trap!" Leela turned around. "You two, go deliver this package to the address on the top of the box and meet us back at this clearing. Lisa and I will spend a little girl time together."
"Yes! I would love that," Lisa said. Leela somehow understood her need to quest and roam.
"Girl time? You gonna wear skirts and eat chocolate?" Bender snorted.
"Bender, I'll shut you down if I have to. Remember that," Leela uttered coldly. Bender watched her retreat and exhaled a slow whistle.
"I hate it when she does that," said Bender mildly.
Fry grabbed Bender by the wrist and began to drag him to the opposite side of the town, all the while shouting, "come on!"
"Whatt're you in a hurry for, pinky?"
"Don't you understand? If I deliver this without her help, Leela will realize I'm mature enough to be her boyfriend."
"Why is everything that goes on with you humans about disgusting mating rituals?"
"Because one of us hasn't had a decent mating ritual in a WHOLE YEAR, and the last time was with his OWN GRANDMOTHER! So come on!"
Complaining the entire way, Bender found himself being dragged behind Fry on the long path into the town.
Marge lay on her back in the bedroom she had shared with her husband for eleven years. Beside her, Homer ate nachos with a gusto that brought her nausea.
"Homer, could you please...would you please...Homer...HOMER! HOMER WOULD YOU STOP FILLING YOUR FACE FOR A MINUTE AND LISTEN TO ME?!"
Homer froze in place. Slowly, he lowered his arms to his sides, blotting cheese onto the quilt. "Okay, but this had better be good."
"Marge? The cheese is getting cold..."
She tried to explain herself, but the words turned into a garbled mess. At the end, she burst into tears.
"Oh, honey..." When he hugged her, she began to bawl ardently. He rubbed her back, and she didn't even notice the grease and cheese coating her nightgown. When she regained the strength to do so, she pushed him away.
"How can you do this, Homey? You're so calm and brave. I can barely make myself go downstairs every morning to see Bart off to school. I can't even look at Maggie without thinking of my Lisa..." Suddenly, anger flashed through her. "Why is it so easy for you?"
"Honey, I'm only trying to make you feel better. If I'm sad all of the time, it's going to make it hard on Bart. Maggie's too young to know what's going on. What would she do if her daddy was sad all of the time?"
Marge took a tissue from the bedside stand, then nosily blew her nose.
"If we act like Lisa's gone, she really will be," Homer said firmly. "We've gotta keep believing she's gonna come back."
Marge didn't know if or how it would help. But she lay herself in Homer's arms, the familiar warm comfort of his embrace calmed her, reminding her of the faith she still held as a point of salvation.