Frank gave out a surprised bleat. Meme gasped. The Secret Agent smiled. "You do want to change back, don't you?"
"Of-of course!" said Meme. "But--"
"I don't see what the issue is." The Secret Agent raised his eyebrows. "After all, it's not even you that will be the one doing the infiltration." Frank whimpered in the background. "And you!" the secret Agent continued, "you'll just have to suck it up and do a bit of acting."
"I'm not being a geisha," Frank protested.
"Not with my body," agreed Meme.
The Secret Agent sighed. "There's no way around it. Now that you've gotten yourselves cursed, there's no going back. Only the Emporer Bull can help you now. In fact, it's not even trying to get in to see him that I'm most worried about. The journey there is filled with dangers and terrors that only the most hardy travellers can weather. I'm not sure you two can handle it."
"Don't be ridiculous," said Frank, flexing his hooves (to somewhat less effect than normal). "I can make it to the Emporer Bull, and even act like a geisha if I have to."
"Don't you be ridiculous," said Meme. "There will be none of your gallant dashing around when you're in my body. I don't want to have it all shattered when I get it back."
"Which you won't," the Secret Agent cut in smoothly, "if you do not allow him to make the journey."
"Then I guess we must go forward," said Meme dejectedly. "But do try to stay out of trouble, won't you, Frank?"
"Have no worries, my dear Meme," said Frank, "when you get your body back from me, it shall be as good as new!" He turned around to saunter off into the sunset and found himself bouncing off a very large, very solid man covered from head to toe in dark armor.
"Going to see the Emporer Bull, were you?" said the mysterious figure. "I'm afraid I have other plans for you..."
Awhile ago, LJ staff made me a maintainer on this community so that I could keep the tags in order. However, real life has gotten busy, and I no longer have time to keep up with some of the lighter communities like this one. It doesn't take a lot of time, but sometimes even a few minutes is too much. Would anyone else be willing to take on the job? I tried to set up a tagging system that would be consistent and easy to understand, but if you have any questions about it, feel free to let me know.
ETA: It looks like the winning entry for Contest #2 was deleted. I'm not sure if the original author deleted it or if something else happened, but I'm afraid there's nothing I personally can do about it. :( I'm not employed by LJ, I just volunteered to keep the tags in order on frankandmeme for the heck of it.
"The Royal Geisha?" Meme panicked. "But that means I'd have to..." Hearing her own words coming out in Frank's voice, she cried out in distress – and found that Frank's shrill bleat sounded even more annoying from inside his head.
"No," Frank said, biting her lips. "It means I have to pretend I'm the Royal Geisha..."
The Secret Agent was typing messages on a small communications device he'd pulled seemingly out of nowhere. "All right," he said. "I've arranged for the current Royal Geisha to be... delayed for a few days. But you still have to pass for her."
"How am I supposed to pass for a cow?" Frank moaned. "I'm a goat! I mean, a sheep!"
The Secret Agent shrugged. "We'll have time to figure that out on the plane."
"What plane?" Meme asked, wrinkling Frank's nose.
There was a deafening roar and a futuristic-looking jet hovered overhead. A beam of green light hit them. Meme felt herself swept off Frank's hooves. All three of them were slowly rising towards a round hatch in the bottom of the jet.
"This plane," the Agent grinned.
Meme looked up, and bleated in alarm. Looking down through the hatch at her was...
"All right, Meme, all we'll have to do is dress you up -- "
Meme bleated indignantly. Considering whose shell of a body she was in, it was odd to hear her cry in Frank's voice.
"Me?" she said with one leg raised. "It'd be more appropriate if you dressed for the part!"
True, for Frank was the one in Meme's body. He was technically a "she," while the vice versa held true for Meme. The Secret Agent coughed, wearing a more uncertain look than the grave one he'd had a mere second ago.
"You do realize that the royal geisha should be human," he explained, which effectively resulted in Meme clamping her mouth shut out of embarrassment while Frank looked to the side. An elementary mistake brought on by their now subsiding panic.
"Then," Meme started, "what should we do?"
The Secret Agent tapped a finger to his chin, thinking. "We'll have to find her."
"Or we can make one . . . " Frank trailed off as Meme turned incredulously toward him.
"What are we going to do," she argued as she threw a leg in the Secret Agent's direction, "make him play dress-up?"
There was a pause. Two pairs of eyes turned to the Secret Agent, who stared back with even more uncertainty. They seriously weren't thinking about that. Were they? It was ludicrous. Ridiculous.
Finally, Meme broke the silence with her piteous bleat, except it wasn't really her voice, but Frank's. "What royal geisha?"
At the same time, Frank understood one thing. He stamped his hooves, oh it felt strange to be using new limbs! , and protested, "There's no way that I'm going to dress up as a --"
The Agent cut in with a smirk, "Oh yes you are. It's either you become a geisha, because you are the only girl here, or you don't.... and well, you can stick with being a girl for the rest of your life." His smirk widened. He was obviously having much fun.
Meme turned to Frank and was distracted by her thought, "You mean I've always looked like this? Hmm how........ beautiful!" She patted Frank's limb, with much difficulty, and assured him that he would make the best geisha ever.
"Right. Now that both of you have agreed, we will need to get to Emperor Bull as quickly as possible. You will need to learn your Ps and Qs."
Meme nodded excitedly. It seemed like it's going be an exciting adventure after all! Frank didn't bother nodding. He was busy pitying himself for landing in this sad plight. The Agent looked at the both of them and said in a serious tone,
"Now say it with me. Arigato, and Sumimasen."
Note: Arigato means Please and Sumimasen means Excuse Me in Japanese.
"The royal goat-sha?" Meme gasped. "But that's impossible! A myth! We'll never find her in time!"
Frank pawed at the ground in determination. "But we don't have a choice. We have to, or we'll never be returned to your proper bodies. Or do you want to spend the rest of our lives as each other?"
"Well," Meme said. It could be interesting, she thought. A lot of relationship counseling did hinge around putting yourself in your significant others' hooves, and they could play some excellent pranks on the userbase like this. But when it occurred to her that she would never again hear her beloved bleat from your own mouth, she shuddered. "Of course not. We'll set out at once!"
Just then, the Secret Agent poked his head in. "Um, guys? What's taking so long?"
Congratulations to madetothwart, whose entry -- Memoirs of a Goat-sha -- was voted the next official chapter in the Frank and Meme saga. You may now start posting entries for the next contest in frankandmeme. The winning author will be awarded 500 LJ Tokens. On behalf of our quarreling darlings, we thank you for keeping the drama alive!
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your patience and continued adoration of Frank & Meme! We've got a formidable collection of fiction to peruse this time around. Enjoy these colorful works and vote for your favorite! The next official chapter of the saga will be selected on Monday, July 18th. Good luck!
"Um," Frank said, "thank you very much for your thoughts, but we don't have any money for you and we really have to be going now."
Just as he and Meme began to back out, an earthquake knocked them to their feet. Bits and pieces of sparkly crystal rained down on them. Meme got to her hooves and shook her head to clear it. "Are you all right, Frank?" she bleated, noting as she did that her voice had gone hoarse from the fright.
A lovely sheep almost identical to herself slowly rose to her feet, crying out in fright as she saw Meme. "Oh no!"
Meme shook herself irritably. She could feel something strange in her head, and she couldn't figure out what. "What is it?"
"Something is very, very wrong!"
One goat and one sheep stared at each other, neither in the correct body.