"Another Normal Sunday Morning" - Emily Stone

It takes a special kind of friend to come pick up your hung-over butt when he himself is hung over. And you know he’s a keeper when he pulls in front of the Student Union, sees a giant, spiky bulge in your shirt, and just opens the door without saying a word.

Well, that’s exactly what Jim did. He looked me over once, and didn’t say anything. Not even a worried glance my way.

After a few minutes, he raised an eyebrow. “What are you knocked up with?” I unbuttoned part of my shirt, and The Thing poked his head out. Jim took his eyes off the road for a minute and looked him over. “A porcupine?”

The Thing had fallen asleep and was snoring again. I thought I remembered reading that porcupines were nocturnal. It was probably bedtime for the little guy; I imagined he was wiped out from his wild night.

“And how did you acquire this . . . porcupine?” Jim asked.

“Well, I’m not quite sure how it got there, but I woke up at a party and it was crawling out of a closet.”

“Where does someone even get a porcupine?”

“I don’t want to know. Like, seriously, I just don’t even want to find out. All I need is for you to take me to a pet store to get it a cage or something.”

“Wait, wait, wait a second. You’re keeping it?”

I nodded silently. “I thought you were going to release it into the wild or something,” Jim said.

“I can’t do that now!” I protested, starting to panic. I thought Jim would pull over and kick me out of the car. “He’s got the human scent on him, and the other porcupines will probably kill him!”

“Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a bit?”

“I can’t help it, okay? The Thing just started following me, and I got kind of attached when I realized it didn’t want to kill me.”

“Dude, come on. Be reasonable. If Milo catches you with that thing, you’ll be kicked out of the dorm.” Milo was our RA.

“I don’t care, man. I can’t just let him go now. I even picked out a name,” I said, which was a lie. I hadn’t picked one out yet, but I figured that once you’d named something it was yours forever. That’s the way it always happened in movies, at least. The one grouchy character would be like, “You named it?!” and the sweet, adorable protagonist would be all, “Yeah, so now we can’t get rid of it!” and then the grouch would let the cutie keep the thing.

Right on cue, Jim said, “You named the thing?”

“Yeah . . . uh . . . his name is Charles.”

“Charles?” He looked at me with this sort of disgusted expression.

“Well, he doesn’t look like a Walter to you, does he?”

He weighed this for a second. “Well, no, but . . . not even Charlie or anything?”

“Nope. No nicknames for this guy. He has been christened Charles, and shall be known by no other name,” I said in my most epic, noble voice.

“Alright, man. He’s your porcupine, I guess. Now how do we get to this pet store?”

I gave him some directions, and he continued driving. “I mean, do you even know what porcupines eat?” he demanded.

“No, but I’m sure I could look it up.”

“Sam, seriously, you are so dumb. You did not think this through, man. I mean, where are you gonna keep it when you go home on breaks and stuff?”

“Look, I didn’t have time to think it through. The point is that Charles is here, and he needs a place to live, so he’s going to live with me. Now shut up and take me to the pet store.”

Besides her penchant for Disney and vanilla pudding, Emily Stone enjoys coloring and sleeping on a Lion King bedspread. She am currently working on a PhD in Waffles and Power Rangers and loves to write in my spare time.