Archive for November, 2006

Gold Girl Diner (The Story)

Gold Girl was so beautiful that little boys followed her around and artists asked to paint portraits of her.

If she said yes to every request she wouldn’t have had enough time for cooking and playing the violin and all the other things she loves doing. So, mostly, she said no.

But she was even sweeter than she was beautiful. So, sometimes, she said yes.

Even more than cooking and playing the violin, Gold Girl loved making people happy. It was only natural then that she would decide to open the Gold Girl Diner so that she could make people happy by feeding them super delicious food and playing the violin while they ate.

What could be better?

Gold Girl found the perfect spot for the Gold Girl Diner on top of a little hill. She wanted the outside of the diner to be shiny gold. The fairy contractors she hired knew just what to do. They went to Mr. Golden Beetle and bought some of the gold paint that he makes with his super-secret formula and uses to paint his shell.
While the fairies were painting, Gold Girl sat on the grass and played the violin for them. Before long, the Gold Girl Diner was so bright that everyone took out sunglasses and put them on.

All the paintings of her that the artists had done came in handy when it was time to decorate the inside. They went up on the walls. She illustrated the menu with a colorful Gold Girl drawing and made black-and-white copies of Gold Girl drawings for children to color when they sat down. With the crayons, she included gold glitter sticks so that they could highlight her golden hair.

In the back, she set up a special room where people could get Gold Girl temporary tattoos.

The Gold Girl Diner was a rousing success from the day she opened the doors. As she delivered pancakes and waffles, little boys and artists followed her around. Once, a little boy and an artist got into a squabble over who was going to be first in line behind her. She made them go outside and sit on a bench until they could behave.
There was just one problem. Gold Girl was so busy fixing super delicious food that she didn’t have time to play the violin. This made her a little sad.

One day, she didn’t have to worry any more about not having time to play the violin. When she opened the doors to the Gold Girl Diner, not a single person came in. No one came in for lunch either. She could not remember a day in her life without at least one boy or artist following her around. Thinking about that made her stomach feel funny.

In the afternoon, she decided to take a walk. She put up the “Closed” sign and walked down her hill. She walked up and down the next hill, too. As she came over the top of the third hill, she saw trees filled with blue, red and green gems dangling like fruit. The effect was dazzling.

Luckily, she had her sunglasses. She put them on.

When her eyes adjusted, she could see that all those sparkling jewels spelled out, “Diamond Girl’s Place Just Ahead. Good Eats.”

Gold Girl wished that she had thought of a sign like that for the Gold Girl Diner.
Just ahead, there it was – Diamond Girl’s Place. The walls were made of delicate spiky crystals as tall as giraffes. Strings of tiny diamonds hung like a curtain in the doorway.

When she stepped inside, she saw more strings of diamonds hanging from the ceiling. It looked as if it were raining diamonds. As the light passed through them, it broke into reds, yellows, greens, blues and purples. Gold Girl felt as if she were inside a rainbow.

Oh, my! Diamond Girl’s Place was even more beautiful than the Gold Girl Diner. Gold Girl’s stomach felt even more funny than it had earlier.

The booths were filled with people who had been eating in the Gold Girl Diner just the day before. Standing behind the cash register was Diamond Girl. Her skin was so black that Gold Girl could see the reds and greens and blues reflecting off it.

“Oh, my!” thought Gold Girl. “She is even more beautiful than I am.”

Gold Girl felt downright woozy.

Just then, Diamond Girl saw her and smiled.

Only a moment ago, Gold Girl had felt worse than when she dropped a birthday earring down the drain. Now she felt like she did after eating one of her mother’s chocolate muffins — all cozy inside.

A smile that could make you feel like that was quite a smile.

She smiled back.

“You have a lovely smile,” said Diamond Girl.

“I was just smiling at your beautiful smile,” said Gold Girl.

“I don’t have any booths at the moment but I do have a stool at the counter,” said Diamond Girl.

“Perhaps another day,” said Gold Girl.

She turned and walked out, feeling much, much better than she had when she walked in.

Three days later, Gold Girl was sitting in her empty diner playing the violin when Diamond Girl walked in and took off her sunglasses.

“Your diner is even more beautiful than my place,” Diamond Girl said.

“You really think so?” said Gold Girl.

“I do,” said Diamond Girl. “It’s so shiny bright outside and look at all these lovely paintings inside.”

She sat down in the booth across from Gold Girl.

“I opened the doors to my place this morning, and no one walked in,” Diamond Girl said. “It made my stomach feel funny.”

“I know just how you feel,” said Gold Girl. “When that happened to me, I took a walk. Want to take a walk?”

“Absolutely,” Diamond Girl said.

They walked toward the river. Diamond Girl said, “I love to paint, especially portraits of smiling people. My place was so busy I wondered whether I would ever have time to paint again. Now it looks as if I will have plenty of time.”

When they arrived at the bridge over the river, it was dark. On the other side was a black tower that they had never seen before. It was so tall, that, even this far away, they had to lean back to see the top. Thousands of tiny colorful lights flickered all the way up its walls.

When they crossed the bridge, they came upon a sign that said, “Star Girl’s Continental Cafe – ‘Where the Moon and Stars Meet to Eat.’”

“What’s a ‘continental’?” asked Gold Girl.

“I don’t know,” said Diamond Girl. “Did the moon or stars ever stop by your diner?”

“No,” said Gold Girl. “Did they ever stop by your place?”

“No,” said Diamond Girl.

“Oh, my!” they both said at the same time.

A winged unicorn stood at the foot of the tower.

“It’s not every day that you see a unicorn with wings,” said Diamond Girl.

“No, it’s not,” said Gold Girl. “I saw one wearing cowboy boots once.”

Next to the unicorn was a sign that said, “Express Service to the Moonlight Veranda. Hop On.”

They hopped on.

As they flew higher and higher, Gold Girl said, “I believe these walls are made of Essence of Night.”

“I believe you’re right,” Diamond Girl said. “I didn’t know you could get it since the Night Elf retired. And look at all those fireflies on the walls. I didn’t know that you could hire fireflies in so many colors.”

“Neither did I,” said Gold Girl. “It’s even more beautiful than the Gold Girl Diner and Diamond Girl’s Place put together. No offense intended.”

“None taken,” said Diamond Girl.

At the top, the unicorn set them down on a veranda lit by colorful paper lanterns. Sure enough, there was the moon sitting at a table eating with a couple of minor stars. At another table, a spiral nebula was eating with a comet. The rest of the tables were filled with customers from the Gold Girl Diner and Diamond Girl’s Place stealing glances at the celestial bodies.

At the bar, Bob Asteroid sat on a stool muttering.

It was all quite impressive. If Gold Girl had been by herself, her stomach might have felt even funnier than it did when she walked into Diamond Girl’s Place. Here with a new friend, though, she felt just fine.

A woman with long black hair and black eyes was moving from table to table. She might have had the whitest skin that either Gold Girl or Diamond Girl had ever seen. It was hard to say for sure by the yellowish light of the lanterns and celestial bodies.

“That must be Star Girl,” whispered Diamond Girl.

“No doubt,” whispered Gold Girl.

Just at that moment, one of the little boys who used to follow Gold Girl around looked their way. When he saw them, he smiled and waved.

They both smiled back. It was as if a lighthouse keeper had turned on his lighthouse. Their smiles sent out a beam of warm light that banished the darkness in front of them. The celestial bodies, so bright in the night just a moment ago, looked a touch pale.

Everyone turned their way, except Mr. Asteroid. The beam missed him. He kept muttering. Star Girl, her eyes narrowed into slits like buttonholes, came over to the girls and said, “I’m afraid that such behavior is simply unacceptable.”

“All we did was smile,” said Gold Girl.

“It made the celestial bodies uncomfortable,” said Star Girl. “And we can’t have that.”

Gold Girl and Diamond Girl looked at each other. They laughed. They both knew that they wouldn’t have to worry for long about Star Girl’s Continental Cafe – “Where the Moon and Stars Meet to Eat.”

For a while, people might be drawn to a restaurant with walls made of Essence of Night, flickering fireflies in rainbow colors and hobnobbing celestial bodies. But, if Star Girl didn’t like bright smiles, most customers would eventually find their way back to a restaurant where the owner worked hard to make customers smile.

“I’ve been thinking,” said Diamond Girl, “If I opened three days a week and you opened three different days, you could play violin at Diamond Girl Place when it’s open, and I could paint portraits at the Gold Girl Diner when it’s open.”

“That’s an excellent idea,” said Gold Girl. “Perhaps you could do one of me for over the cash register.”

“I would be delighted,” said Diamond Girl. “Shall we ride the flying unicorn back down?”

“Let’s take the stairs,” Gold Girl said.

“Good idea,” said Diamond Girl.

The little boy smiled and waved again. Gold Girl and Diamond Girl each waved back with one hand and held the other hand over her mouth so that her smile wouldn’t disturb the celestial bodies.

A little bit of their smiles snuck out between their fingers, though, and landed smack dab on Mr. Asteroid. He stopped muttering and looked up. Something about seeing Gold Girl and Diamond Girl smiling and waving at the boy reminded him of his two older sisters.

Maybe he should go visit them, he thought. He always smiled a lot when they were together. Thinking of that was enough to make him smile.

His smile looked kind of rumpled as if it had been sitting in the bottom of a hamper for a while.

Mr. Asteroid paid his check and followed Gold Girl and Diamond Girl to the door at the top of the stairs. When he opened the door for them, the hinges squeaked.
Star Girl gave them a stern look. Mr. Asteroid, Gold Girl and Diamond Girl didn’t notice.

On the way down the stairs, he told the girls some of his favorite elephant jokes.