A quick note from GirlOfManyFandoms: So my real life boyfriend told me I "don't use enough southerness" in my books, so here ya go. If you can actually follow this whole chapter, congrats. I tip my hat. Unless you're southern too. Then, that's just cheatin'.
Girlie shot her head up when she heard the four-beat knock on the door. She had been sleeping like a rock, but the knock jerked her out of slumber so fast, she almost got whiplash. Four-beat knocks usually freaked her out because of Doctor Who, but having met David Tennant, and having him promise he'd come back when she was older, she was terrified something would happen when four taps resounded through the air.
Girlie scuttled off the bed, trying to avoid waking Prez who was snoring softly. She grabbed her Sonic Screwdriver like a weapon, ready to blind any trespasser, or at least make his or her vision blurred for three seconds. She opened the door just a tiny bit. Not even enough to be called a crevice. Squinting, she made out the figure through the crack. She opened the door more.
"Ray? What are you doing here?"
"I could ask the same. When did you come here?"
"While ago. Stop avoiding my question."
"Look, I just wanna see if the doll is still here before I investigate any further."
You're kidding me, right? You're - You're kidding me.
"You woke be up just to check on some stupid shit like that?" It was amazing that Girlie had even calmed down enough to sleep, not to mention she was having a good dream that closely resembled hallucinations from eating Smile Dip on a dare (much to Mabel's annoyance). And Ray had woken her up for something as dumb as that.
"I will just let language slide..."
Girlie groaned, "Build a bridge, an' get over it." She got real snappy when she was awoken. She usually tried to watch her mouth (despite her southern roots) around Ray, who got worked up over swear words, but when angry, her brain-to-mouth filter malfunctioned.
"Wouldja rather me embrace my 'redneckedness,' an' use the southern slang no one ever understands? That whatcha want?"
Ray looked offended. "I understand your southern phrases just fine."
"Arighty then. Got yo'self in this mess though." Girlie smiled. She hadn't gotten the chance to use her southern slang too much since her teacher jerked a knot in her butt for saying "sugar tit," which is actually just another word for a pacifier.
"I wasn't meaning it as a bet!"
"Too late now, Ray. You can pitch a hissy-fit all you want, but unless you give up, I ain't gonna do nutin' but confuse ya. I ain't gonna bridle my tongue." Girlie began to wonder how many random insults she could throw before Ray realized. She could probably get away with "hussy," which wasn't true at all, but she would never make it through with "fell off the ugly tree and hit all branches on the way down," which was also a lie.
"Uh uh. I ain't gonna listen. You were born with your foot in your mouth, an' that ain't my fault. I used to could deal with your constant bickerin' over my swearing, but ya know what? It stinks more than an outhouse on a summer's day, dadgum it!"
"You're being weird. Look, I just want to know if the Elsa doll is still in the house."
Girlie grumbled. She was getting all worked up for nothing. She was trying to get on Ray's nerves, like she did everyone who vexed her, but she was as successful as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. She peeked inside, looking at the dresser that was just barely visible through the cabin. Anna sat alone.
"We're screwed," she said lightly, like a favorite knock-knock joke.
"We need to look for her then. I say we start here and spiral around the house."
That plan only works when there are multiple people, genius.
"That dog don't hunt."
Ray's face knitted into confusion, but she tried to hide it. "Okay."
"Stop actin' like you know what that means!"
"Then stop. It's getting annoying, and Prez will kill you if she hears your lack of grammar."
Oh, God. She will.
"Fine. But- What the-" A rattling of a bush distracted her.
Ray sucked in a breath and held Girlie close, acting like a human shield. She had a look in her eye that said "Whatever you are, you have to go through me to get Girlie."
I will treasure these three extra seconds.
Girlie and Ray saw a pair of icy blue eyes before everything went black.