LOST GIRL FOUND

by

Robert Nowall

 

 

 

 

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: A story in which the events of "The Teachings of Don Jake" ended in tragedy, not comedy...but didnít actually end there...

 

 

 

 

The phone rang. I welcomed it. I grabbed the receiver and said, "Barksdale and Company. My multiple personalities are at your service. Youíre speaking to Melody now, but we reserve the right to change."

"Daria, itís me."

"Me who?" I asked. Of course I knew her voice, but I decided to have a little fun.

"Amy. The woman who took you in when you were sixteen."

"Amy!" I usually enjoyed talking to my aunt, especially now that we didnít live in the same apartment. She could match me, sarcastic note for sarcastic note.

But she did not sound as if she was in a sarcastic mood. "Is something wrong?"

"Are you sitting down?"

I frowned. "Amy, Iím at my computer, trying to move a character from one place to another."

"Daria, theyíve found Quinn."

#

At the top of the hill, I slowed the car, then pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. Cars passed me and went down, but I had to stop and look first. The car engine purred softly. It was mid-morning, past rush hour, and it was a sunny day. Below the hill lay Lawndale. I sighed. A lot of memories had been stirred up.

It had been a camping trip gone awry. My father had insisted on eating naturally, foraging in the forest. He, my mother, and my sister Quinn ate what he gathered. Something had a bad effect on the three of them, and they went, well, crazy in a stoned-out-of-the-mind way.

I didnít eat any of it, and was all right. I tried to control them, but, it was no good. In the end, I had to find my own way out of the woods to get help. Later, the rescue party that went in found my mother and father. They were dead by then. Exposure. But they never found Quinn.

I went through a bad time after that. I left Lawndale and went to live with my Aunt Amy. Time put some perspective on the matter, but never really took away the pain.

But then I began to hear stories. It started with a "Sick, Sad World" segment, a year after it all happened. Reports of a wild girl, living in the woods near Lawndale. People had seen her, even talked to her, but nobody could catch her.

Somebody put two and two together and jumped to the wild conclusion that the wild girl was a wild Quinn. I never was that sure. I thought it might be, but I thought they would have to capture her to be sure. I tried not to think of it.

But then the story took on a life of its own, like Bigfoot or flying saucers. More stories, more reports. T-shirt sales. And every few days some freak would ring me up wanting to talk to the sister of the "wild girl." Usually in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep.

I could have gone with it. I could have been Quinnís sister till the end of time. I could have written one of the dozens of books about the "wild girl." But not me. After college I started writing under the name "Melody Barksdale." I purchased a set of ID cards and assorted paraphernalia under that name. From there, except under rare conditions, I was Melody. That cut the calls down to manageable numbers.

But now Quinn was back in my life. After Amy told me, I said, "They found her? Where?"

"I donít have all the details," Amy said, "but they have her right now in the Lawndale County Jail. They contacted me because my name was on the missing persons report as nearest relative. You were sixteen, remember?"

"Yeah, yeah." I frowned. "Quinn...is she---"

"They said she was alive and well."

I felt relief at that, to my surprise. I said, "Iím sorry I canít thank them for that."

Amy said nothing for what seemed like the longest time. Finally, she said, "Your sarcasm is showing."

"Itís how I deal."

"I know. Look, Daria, I know this is going to be tough for you. Weíll work through it together. You drive down to Lawndale, and Iíll meet you there."

I had enough time to dig out my "Daria Morgendorffer" IDs, book a hotel, and throw a bag together, before I left. So there I was, parked on the hill overlooking Lawndale, wondering what I would do...and wondering why I was wondering what to do. I groaned, and put the car into drive, and pulled into traffic.

#

I hadnít lived in Lawndale long, so changes in the town meant nothing to me. Once in a while I passed something familiar. The Giant Strawberry statue, badly in need of a paint job. The Lawndale Mall, now closed and boarded up. Had the loss of Quinnís business been that hard a hit? Maybe it just couldnít compete with the newer and bigger mall I spotted just down the road.

Lawndale High School was still there. It looked a lot cruddier than it had been during the year I had gone there. Some people have fond memories of school, their fellow students, their teachers, but not me. I had met Jane there, but that was it.

I wound up on familiar residential streets, and soon I was pulling up in front of the house we had lived in. This neighborhood looked much the same, taller trees but the same houses. There were occasional pedestrians on the sidewalk. Amy and I had agreed to sell it after I left Lawndale. I didnít think I had any attachment to the place...but here I was.

The main difference was the tall brick wall around it, with a big wrought-iron gate across the driveway. I looked around. No other houses on the street were fenced in. It was hard to see, but what I could see through the gate looked the same. Suddenly I noticed a lot of graffiti on the wall. I stopped the car, turned the engine off, and got out to take a look.

A lot of the graffiti was of a similar pattern. "QUINN RULES," one of them said. "FOREST GIRL LIVES," said another. Nothing very imaginative, but the ones that didnít write their own name or handle wrote "Quinn" or "Wild Girl" or some such. I frowned. Quinn was still popular as ever.

A woman walked by. Thin, brown-haired, about my age. She was pushing a baby in a stroller, making cooing noises at it. A new mother, I figured. She glanced at me looking her. I looked over at the wall again.

Then she stopped and gasped. "Daria! Is that you?"

A name floated out of my memory banks. "Umm...Stacy, um, Rowe?"

"Itís Stacy Brenner now." She smiled, and held up a hand, enough for the light to catch the gold band around her ring finger. "Itís been a long time."

"Yeah." I felt a little awkward. Stacy had been one of Quinnís friends, and not a friend of mine, and I donít think I exchanged half a dozen words with her before I left Lawndale. "Howís it going?"

She actually giggled. "Oh, a husband, a daughter."

I bent over looked at the baby in the stroller. It wasnít that old, maybe six months. Babies had never appealed to me much, but, then, neither had adults. I straightened up, stifled my urge to say what I really thought and said, "Itís a fine baby."

She smiled and said, "Thanks. What have you been doing?"

"Oh, college, writing, starving to death...I suppose itís that whole adulthood thing."

"Yeah. Who knew?" Stacyís face turned somber. "Daria, I just want to tell you how sorry we all were when, you know..."

"When my parents died?" It didnít bother me that much anymore...at least I didnít think it did.

Stacy nodded. "And when Quinn disappeared, too. We had a memorial service at school for Quinn. They brought Tommy Sherman in to give a speech."

Jane had mentioned something about it in one of the many e-mails we exchanged after I moved away. I gathered at the time that Tommy Sherman was some kind of former Lawndale High football hero; later, I had seen him playing pro ball. I wondered if I should make a cutting remark...but I had long since learned when I could be sarcastic...and when it wasnít worth it.

Instead, I said, "Well, it was a long time ago, now."

"Yeah." She sighed, then seemed to perk up. "And what with Quinn finally being, uh, caught, I suppose I should have realized youíd come back. Here." She bent over her napping toddler, and pulled a newspaper out of a stroller side pocket. She handed it to me.

It was the Lawndale Sun-Herald, a tabloid paper. I remembered it from before. Splashy headlines and lurid contents, which kept me confined to the arts section. Now, a big headline was splashed across the front page: LOST GIRL FOUND.

Below the headline was a color representation, some artistís rendition of Quinn as she might appear: glamorous forest girl with flaming red hair. Wild. I thumbed through the paper. There were four pages of stories, with old pictures of Quinn, a map of the woods we had been lost in, a half-page reproduction of an old Sun-Herald that said GIRL LOST...

I thumbed through the whole paper. The artistís rendition of Quinn was also the centerfold. Suitable for wall-posting by adolescent males. It was hard to reconcile what I remembered of Quinn with what was shown in the picture. She looked as if she had stepped out of a "Queen of the Jungle" movie. Yet she also looked like she was still the fashion-conscious stuck-up everybodyís-favorite who made my childhood a living hell.

I frowned. Finding Quinn was turning into a bigger deal than I had thought.

Stacy went on. Vaguely I remembered she always had a tendency to babble. "You know," she said, "three of Quinnís boyfriends spent years looking for her. Every weekend, theyíd go up to the woods and look around, but they never found her."

"Never saw her?"

"They always said they didnít. But sometimes we wondered."

I cleared my throat and said, "Er...Stacy, I havenít actually talked to Quinn yet." I looked back at our old house, then said, "Look, Iíve got to meet someone before I do."

"Oh...oh!" She looked sorrowful, enough so that I forgave her a lot, then and there. "Iím sorry, but I just go on and on and..." She stopped and bit her lip. "Look, call me. Iím in the book. Or have Quinn call me."

"Okay. Iíll do that." I handed the newspaper back to her. "Good-bye, Stacy."

" ĎBye, now." She started pushing the stroller on, then half-turned and waved back at me. I half-waved back as I walked around to my carís driverís side door.

Once behind the wheel, with the engine running, I wondered what to do next. Idly, I thought of driving by the Lane residence. But Jane wasnít there. She had long ago started wandering the world, like the rest of her immediate family. I had no idea whether her brother Trent, or the others I had never met, were still using it as a home base.

So it was time to check in at the hotel.

#

I knew it was going to be bad the minute I hit the lobby. Iíd left my luggage in my car. I heard a shout, a womanís voice, "There she is!" and suddenly I was under the harsh glare of a video camera. A man with a camera and lights, another man with a mike on a boom, and a well-dressed woman holding another mike in her hands. The logo identified them as belonging to KSBC. I remembered the station. In idle moments, long ago, I wondered why a "K" station found itself east of the Mississippi in Lawndale.

They were in my face in an instant and I recoiled a couple of steps. "If you please, a moment," the woman said. From her appearance I judged her to be so-called "on-air talent," and from the tone of her voice I judged her to be "pompous."

"Who are you?" I said, trying to muster my calm voice.

"Sandi Griffin, KSBC," the woman said. "Could you spare us a few words on the recent arrest of Quinn Morgendorffer?"

I shook my head. I had to choose my words carefully...and brutally, if I could manage. But I felt my temper grow inside me, and I fought to keep it down and keep my public face calm. "Ms. Griffin," I said, "I have just driven a long distance and have not yet checked in. Please leave me alone."

"But you must have something to say."

"No, I donít." I tried to walk around, but the three of them maneuvered quickly and kept in front of me. "Please let me pass."

"How do you feel about the pending charges?"

I stopped, took a deep breath, and said, "Look, Ms. Griffin, I am a stranger in town and have just arrived. Please leave me alone or I will have to begin shouting for the police."

The three of them brought their heads together for a couple of words. I attempted to walk away, but they quickly turned and were in front of me again in a couple of steps.

The reporter began, "Look, Quinnís cousin or what-ever---"

That did it, that touched a nerve, long buried and forgotten. I lost what control I had. " ĎCousiní ?" I said. "Iím Quinn Morgendorfferís sister, and donít you forget it!"

"I meant---" Ms. Griffin began.

"Now take your cameras and lights and get the hell away from me! Iím not answering your questions and Iím not talking to you anymore. In fact..."

#

" Ď...I suggest you and yours take a flying leap from the highest thing in this godforsaken armpit of a town, and...í "

I listened stoically as I sat on the edge of one of the hotel roomís beds. The remote was in my hand, but I didnít change channels. Ms. Griffinís station had repeated the whole so-called "interview" on their six oíclock news. I knew I came off looking like a mad women. I also hadnít realized that local news would actually broadcast anything with those words in it.

I said to Amy, "I guess I donít watch enough local news."

Amy didnít rise from where she lay on the bed, reading a thick book. "Donít worry about it. I doubt if anybody watches that station. Look at who they put on the air."

I turned my attention back to the TV. Sandi Griffin was speaking. " ĎAn unfortunate exchange,í " she said, " Ďbut one that, Iím afraid, will be all too typical of the Morgendorffers as their black sheep, the so-called "Lost Girl of Lawndale," is at last brought to the bench of justice. Sandi Griffin, reporting for KSBC-TV.í "

"God," I said, "what a cliché festival this woman dispenses." I remembered her now, much, much too late. She had been one of Quinnís friends, part of the same little group that had included Stacy and another girl, the Fashion Fiends, I think they called themselves.

"Like I said," Amy said from the bed, "donít worry about it. Besides, shouldnít it be Ďseat of justiceí ?"

"I was thinking Ďbar of justiceí myself." I clicked the TV off, tossed the remote on the bed, and stood up. "The manager said there are four camera crews camped out in the lobby. The three local stations, and ĎSick Sad Worldí sent some people." I hated "SSW," after they exploited Quinn, and especially after an attempt to land a job there ended with their attempt to exploit me as the Lost Girlís sister.

Amy put her book down and sat up. "Look, Daria, I can go to the sheriffís alone tomorrow to reclaim Quinn."

I shook my head. "No, no, Iíll go, Iím her sister after all. Itís just---" I sighed. "Well, Quinn and I never did relate well to each other when we were young."

"And you donít think itíll be any different now?"

"I donít know."

Amy reached over and took my hand. "Donít worry about it. If you can get along with me, you can get along with anybody." She let go and said, "Now try to get some rest. Weíll have to run by the press tomorrow, more than once. Donít say anything, until after we meet with Quinn."

I sighed.

#

The sheriff was accommodating...friendly, even. He had sent an unmarked car to the hotel to pick us up, and had his deputies clear the area around the jail. Amy and I could get in to his office without any trouble.

He stood up and shook our hands. After all that we sat down to talk it over. "Frankly," he said, "Iím happy to bring all this ĎLost Girl of Lawndaleí nonsense to a successful conclusion. Itís been an irritant all through my administration."

"Sorry to have troubled you," I said.

"And if I settle it here and now, it wonít be hanging over me when I run for Congress next year."

I almost opened my mouth to respond, but Amy kicked me in the shin. Besides knowing me too well, she has fast reflexes. I sighed and said, "So what is Quinn charged with?" I wondered if Momís old law firm was still in business. Quinn might need a lawyer.

He grinned. "Nothing. Nothing at all. I just had her held overnight, in protective custody, as it were. Just fill out some forms, closing the missing person case on her, and she can walk out of here free.

"You hold people for that?

"Under certain circumstances."

"I see." A little thought went around inside my head. "And to see she didnít bolt again?"

"That too." The sheriff turned to me. "I understand youíre her sister."

"Thatís me," I said, "Daria Morgendorffer, sister to a celebrity."

"Well, cheer up." This sheriff seemed to be perpetually cheerful. Had a "good-old-boy" accent, too, I realized. "Once the public sees her, sheís sure to lose some of her mystique. The, er, intense interest will be gone."

"I canít count on that."

"Well, sheís nothing like that portrait in the Sun-Herald yesterday. You can see for yourself, both of you." His smile faded a little. "Just one more thing. Once youíre out of here, Quinn Morgendorffer is free to go wherever and do whatever she wants."

"Just so long as itís not gone and done in the forest?"

"Or in an area Iím responsible for." He grinned, fairly broadly, at that. "But the management of Le Grand Hotel has already told me theyíd prefer you not bring your sister to their seedy establishment."

I frowned. Suddenly I was glad I hadnít unpacked the night before. "But my car is there," I said.

The sheriff went back to grinning. "Iíll send some deputies over. Itíll be here in less than an hour."

Amy reached into her purse and dug out a cell phone. "Well, since your apartment and my apartment arenít big enough, I guess the Barksdale family mansion will have to do. You go see Quinn. Iíll take care of the paperwork, call Mother, and do the necessary groveling." With that last sentence she frowned. I didnít look forward to seeing Grandma Barksdale, either.

I turned back to the sheriff. "So whereís my sister right now?"

"Down in the interrogation room. Itís a convenient place. There arenít even any microphones anymore."

I shrugged.

#

Quinn turned as soon as I entered the room. She didnít speak. But the effect was startling. When I had last seen her, she was rubbing mud in her face, pretending it was some kind of makeup. Now she wasnít stoned, but she wasnít wearing any real makeup, either. Her face...the state of her skin made me wonder what happened to her obsession with skin care products. She wore one of those unflattering bright orange jumpsuits they make prisoners wear. And her hair, that had once gone down to the small of her back, was cropped in a near crew-cut.

She certainly didnít look like the picture in the Sun-Herald.

"Uh...Quinn," I said.

She looked me over, head to toe, then head to toe again, and then spoke. Her voice was unchanged. "Daria?"

"So...how have you been?"

She looked away and said, "Iíve been better. What about you?"

"Oh, fine, fine." All my sarcasm deserted me.

She kept her eyes on the wall, and I hesitated to disturb her. It was hard to phrase any question to her, because, well, there werenít any answers that would matter. So we stood in silence for what seemed like ages. Occasionally her eyes would flicker over to me and Iíd try to avoid them.

This roomís furniture consisted of a plain table and several chairs grouped around it. I nerved myself and caught Quinnís eye, and with a single glance, tried to indicate the table and chairs. She got it. We both sat down, on opposite sides of the table.

She broke the silence first. "Daria, I wanted to get in touch with you." She reached out and put her hand on top of mine. "I didnít know what to say."

"For a start," I said, "you could tell me where youíve been and what youíve been doing."

"You mean why I didnít come back when I, er, when I came down?" She shook her head.

"Let me ask you straight, Quinn." I pulled my hand out from under hers and patted her hands. "Did you think, somehow, some way, you killed Mom and Dad?"

She flushed a little at that, then said, with just the slightest hesitation, "Yes. I thought I killed them." And then she said, with more force, "I was sure I had killed them! I didnít know what to do!" Her hands gripped mine with the force of a vise.

"Quinn, Quinn, you know thatís not true."

She gulped a little. "I know. I know. By the time I figured it out---found it out, it was too late." She let go of my hands and held up hers, forefingers out, to make the "quotation marks" gesture. "I was ĎForest Girl.í It was too late."

"You knew about all that?"

"Oh, Daria. Just because I was living in the woods didnít mean I didnít read the papers."

Suddenly I was surprised. "And you kept on with it?"

"Why not?" Here, she almost smiled. She put her hands on mine again. "By then, it seemed okay to live in the woods. I, er, well, I was used to it."

"But how did you live? How did you survive?"

Quinn grinned, a little half-lifting of the corners of her mouth. "Oh, Daria. I made out. The papers got it all wrong. I didnít spend all my time in the woods. If I needed money, Iíd do this or that Ďtill I had enough to get a few supplies, and then I was gone."

"But you lived in the forest. What did you do about winter?"

"Oh, I had blankets, and fires. There was also the occasional summer cabin. They work in winter, too." She paused, deep in thought, the grin gone. Then it was back. "Youíd be surprised, too, just how many people wanted to help Forest Girl. Some of them even knew me from before."

"Quinn, you couldíve contacted me."

She shook her head. "What would the point be, Daria? I had my life, and you had yours. It was always that way, even before." She squeezed my hand. "I read your book."

"Which one?"

"The one where you tell the story of the girl with a more popular sister." She hesitated, making me wonder whether she realized the autobiographical elements I had put into it. Then she said, "It was pretty good."

I smiled a little at that. "Thanks." But then I frowned. "Wait a minute. How did you know it was me?"

"Please, Daria. Melody Barksdale? Could you have been more obvious?"

"Maybe not to anyone in our family."

"Youíre missing the point. Why did you change your name?"

I let go of her hands and leaned back. "If you must know, it was because I was tired of being your sister."

"I donít understand."

"Quinn, from college on, Iíve been---" I held up my hands and mimicked her "quotation marks" gesture. "---the Ďsisterí of ĎForest Girl.í I had several jobs fall through because someone realized I was related to you. Then there were the ones where someone tried to take advantage---"

"Iím sorry, Daria."

"Then there were the midnight calls, the harassment by your fans---"

"I said I was sorry." She looked sour when she said it, but then shook her head. "Oh, Daria. You took Momís maiden name?"

"I was living with Aunt Amy by then. Everybody assumed she was my mother. It just seemed the natural thing to do."

"But who was your father?"

It was my turn to shake my head. "We never explained it. People assumed what they wanted to."

She was still shaking her head. "Oh, Daria. And I remember how mad you used to get when I called you my cousin---"

"Cousin!"

"And when I---Daria?"

The phrase, "the blood ran from my face," went through my mind. Iíd never experienced it, but I could feel it, happening to me, right now. I felt dizzy and the world seemed to recede.

"Daria?" Quinn grabbed my hands and held them. "Are you all right?"

"I---Iím fine." I swallowed. "Iím fine."

"Are you sure? You donít look so...so..."

"No, no...Iím all right. Iíve just been hit by my contradictions."

"Have you tried Mydol?"

That broke the mood. I snapped back to myself, contradictions and all, and said, "Look, Quinn. It doesnít matter what happened in the past. Well, it matters, but not much. Itís not important. We have to deal with the here and now."

"Okay," Quinn replied, with a good deal of resignation packed into two simple syllables. She let go of my hands. "When does my lawyer get here?"

"Quinn, youíre not charged with anything. You can leave any time."

"Oh! I thought---" She shook her head. "Never mind what I thought. Where are we going?"

"Tentatively to the Barksdale homestead. After that, weíll see." I looked her straight in the eye---for a change---and said, "But I donít think living in the woods would be acceptable any more."

Quinn didnít reply, but looked away. Before we could say anything else, the door to the room opened and the sheriff came in. "Ms. Morgendorffer, Ms. Morgendorffer," he said to each of us. "Sorry to interrupt, but the media have staked out our front steps. It would make all our lives a little easier if you said a few words to them before you departed."

Quinn looked to me for an answer. I said, "Youíre a celebrity, you know. The Lost Girl of Lawndale."

"I know."

"If you donít deal with them now, they will pester all of us all the way back home."

"I suppose," Quinn said. Resignation seemed to be a new way of life for her.

"All right. Itís the least we can do for your help."

"Thank you. Any time youíre ready." He smiled at us and left.

Quinn turned to me. "Cute guy."

"I hadnít noticed."

"Er...you going with anybody now?"

"No, not right now." Iíd had a few affairs over the years, but mostly I lived alone. "What about you?"

"Er...being the Lost Girl kind of took up my time." I paused, looked her over, and said, "Ready?"

"Ready."

#

Amy met us in the corridor. Several people wandered through, but they paid no attention to us---or tried not to. The difference didnít matter.

"Everythingís taken care of," she said. "Your car and our luggage are here. The sheriff told me you were willing to face the press." She looked Quinn over, and said, "How have you been, Quinn?"

"Iíve been better," she replied.

"How did they pick you up?" Amy asked. I mentally cursed myself. I had forgotten to ask.

"Oh!" Quinn shrugged. "I was walking along the side of the road, and this deputy stopped me. He must have recognized me, a picture or something, I donít know."

"So then what?" I asked.

Another shrug. "I mightíve denied it. I usually did. But I just didnít, this time around. Didnít feel like it."

Amy and I glanced at each other. It was my turn to shrug. Amy turned back to Quinn. "Then thereís nothing left but to face the press. Ready for that?"

"As ready as Iíll ever be." Quinn looked at me. "As long as Daria comes with me."

"You need me for this?"

"I need somebody at my side. Please, Daria?"

I sighed, and mumbled two words---with more resignation than Quinn had brought to her sentences. "All right."

"Thanks."

We took a couple of steps. But then I remembered something. "Oh, Quinn, one more thing."

She stopped. "Thereís more?"

"Just this. After you, ah, disappeared, the police recovered our tents and backpacks. There was..." I coughed, and went on. "There was a cell phone in Momís backpack."

It broke through her resignation. She was the Quinn I remembered, all right. "A cellphone? Mom brought a cellphone along?"

"I know how you feel. If I had only known it was there. If she had told me. Or if I had gone through her stuff before I walked out of the woods. I could have called in a rescue squad and maybe Mom and Dad---"

"Maybe they wouldnít have died." Quinn paused, her eyes focused on the floor and her feet. "If we had known." She looked up. "What kind of life would we have had if we had all gotten out alive?"

"Something entirely different," Amy said. She stood between us, and put an arm around each shoulder. "Thatís the formula. But neither of you did know, and neither of you can go back and undo this. Youíll just have to live with it."

"Iíve had to live with a lot over the years," I said.

"Yeah, me, too." Quinn paused, and looked at Amy. "Iím ready to go now."

"Okay." Amy let us go. "Iíll be in the car."

#

The sidewalk outside the sheriffís office were a sea of media, with cameras and microphone booms floating over the heads of the press. They crowded forward when they saw us, but the sheriff had put some deputies around to control them.

Quinn stood in the middle. The sheriff stood to Quinnís right and a step back, and I stood to her left. Quinn gripped my hand. Before she spoke, she turned to me, and smiled.

Then she turned away and spoke. "Iím Quinn Morgendorffer. And this is my sister, Daria."

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This story was inspired by artwork by Kemical Reaxion, not associated with "Daria" until I (and not Kem) did so. It can be found at "Kemís Kollection" at: http://vulcan.spaceports.com/~kem/kollection/kemcollect.html. Once there, click on "Original Art," and look for "Jungle Girl (2001)." (If that doesnít work, try Kemís "Glitter Berries" at: http://vulcan.spaceports.com/~kem. Go to "Fan Art," go to "Kemical Reaxion," and go to "Kemís Kollection.) I can only hope Iíve typed out the links correctly. Donít ask for a live link in my text: itís beyond my capabilities. This is the best I can do.

Thanks to Wyvern, NomadX, Galen, MMan, and others whose comments I have mislaid, but, I hope, didnít forget. Practically everything said about the beta version made a lot of sense...and a number even overlapped...

This parody of "Daria" is copyright © 2002 by Robert Nowall. It is not intended to profit the author in any way, and may not be distributed without permission of the author. (That means please donít post or circulate this without getting in touch with me first.) For the time being, Robert Nowall can be reached at: RobtNowall@aol.com

Written 1/18/02 to 5/5/02

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