Up high, the flies are playing
And frolicking, and swaying.
The frog thinks: Dance! I know
You’ll end up here below.
Once there was a young man named Toki Wartooth who was a mega-wealthy professional guitarist that lived in a big dark mansion in a neighborhood called Bloodcreek Estates. All of the hardcore metalheads lived there, like his neighbors: William Murderface, a bassist and curator at the local Civil War museum; Pickles, a drummer and also operator of a high-profile narcotics racket out of his garage; and Nathan Explosion, a professional vocalist and a collector of fancy cheeses. These were Toki’s three closest neighbors and they hung out from time to time on weekends.
But Toki wasn’t all that great despite his being naturally good-looking; in fact, he was the dumbest, most selfish, immature, cold-blooded little prick you’d ever meet in this life. He spent a vast fortune collecting the most worthless possessions, he had no appreciation for art or literature or culture, he spoke terrible English and even mangled his own native Norwegian tongue, he cared nothing about the feelings of others, he insulted everyone he talked to, he drank excessively, hated children, did petty drugs, was quick to lose his temper, and was prone to bouts of extreme depression during which he would shut out all light from his home and eat candy for days. He was, in essence, a horrible person and a worthless excuse of a human being. He was a tyrannical child, a spoiled rotten brat whose company others avoided as best they could. But Toki didn’t care about his shortcomings. He was too selfish to see anything of the world beyond his own Fu Manchu, and that was alright by him.
Then it happened that one day, as he was out walking the great expanse of his mostly-wooded property and idly playing with a small remote-controlled airplane, the little battery in the fuselage died suddenly in mid-flight. The aircraft did a nosedive on the other side of the hill, right near a pond that Toki had no idea was even there. Upon conducting an impatient search of the area, he at last spotted the moldering ruins of what looked like a wishing well. He leaned over carefully and gazed down into the darkness. Certainly enough, when his eyes had adjusted themselves he saw the red wing of his airplane lodged in the oozing muck at the very bottom.
Normally Toki would have said “de hells” with this and been on his merry way, but he had actually built this airplane himself and it was his very favorite toy. Like a child he couldn’t bear to part with it. It was, however, a very very long way down. So Toki’s next option was to first throw a tantrum, curse the world and everything in it, and then sit down beside the well and mope because there was no way any living person could possibly extricate his airplane.
Just then Toki heard ribbits, ribbits! from somewhere over his shoulder, and when he turned around he was face to face with a large frog. It was a bright golden color and its funky amphibian eyes were tinted a pale shade of blue; it would have probably been a very pretty frog if not for the weird lips it had. Toki drew back in disgust because he had never seen a frog with lips before, and it looked very—how should I put this?—fugly to say the least. He was just about to slap the mutated-looking monstrosity back down the well when suddenly it spoke in a throaty croak:
“Hello, how’s do you doos? It’s is a nice day fors de plane’s flying, ja? My names is Skwisfrogg, what’s is your?”
Toki was stunned and even more disgusted; this slimy, coagulated puke chunk spoke English even worse than he did. But he found himself automatically replying, “My name’s Toki.”
The frog actually smiled. It could do that—it had lips. “It’s is nice to meets yous, Toki.”
The Norwegian had not changed expressions since his initial revulsion, but Skwisfrogg politely ignored the rudeness.
“It’s is seemings dat your aero-plane’s has falling into my house.”
“You lives down there?” Toki gawped, finding his voice. “Down in alls that shit?”
“Dere’s no places like home,” replied the frog lightly. “But I can’ts lives wis a plane stucks in my house like dat.”
“You screwed then,” Toki muttered, slumping down sadly. “Nobody can gets it out. Is too small to fits a person down there.”
“I coulds get it for yous,” the yellow amphibian offered.
Toki was suddenly Skwisfrogg’s best fair-weather friend. “Really?” he cried, crawling to his knees.
“Yes. But if I goes down and gets it for yous, what’s will you doos to repay me, eh?”
“Anything you wants!” Toki exclaimed. “A hundred’s buck! A solid gold telephone! You likes my shirt? Is yours!”
But Skwisfrogg shook his head gravely. “Pfft, I don’ts want none of dat stuff. Material’s possession comes and goes too fast. I am a bits…lonely? It’s not much fun livings down in de grounds all by myselv, you knows.”
Toki didn’t like where this was going. “So…what does you want, frog?”
“I wants to be your friend!” Skwisfrogg hopped to show his enthusiasm. “If I goes down and gets you your toys for yous, you must promise to being my friend and takes me wis you wherevers you go.”
“Okay,” Toki lied.
“And lives in your house wis you.”
“Okay, fine,” Toki lied.
“And haves dinners wis you.”
“Okay, that cool,” Toki lied.
“And sleeps in your bed and live alls nice in your pocket when you travels.”
“Okay, whatever,” Toki lied between clenched teeth. This fucking frog was about to become extinct if it didn’t shut up and go get his airplane. Thankfully the list of soon-to-be-broken promises ended after that, and with a smile and a happy ribbit, Skwisfrogg leapt down the well and disappeared into the shadows. Toki peered over the edge but he couldn’t see what was happening, and after a few long moments the frog emerged, carrying the little red plane.
Toki scooped up his plane and cheered, ignoring how fatigued the yellow frog had become from carrying such a burden all the way up the slippery well. But before Skwisfrogg could catch his breath, the double-crossing Norwegian raced off over the hill.
“Hey! You’s forgotted me! I can’ts run as fast as yous!” he called, but Toki didn’t hear. Actually he did hear, but he didn’t slow down. No way was that stupid, nasty old frog setting one flipper inside his house. Toki resolved to never again fly his plane near the pond, and was certain that that was the last time he would ever see Skwisfrogg again.
But we all know how wrong he is, don’t we?
That evening Toki invited Murderface, Nathan and Pickles over to his house for dinner and pornographic horror movies. They were wrist deep in buckets of buffalo wings and 20 minutes into Sexist Chainsaw Ass Murderer III when there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at the living room window. “Tis shum vizshitor,” said Murderface, and nothing more.
Toki got up to inspect the tapping as it was becoming most bothersome, and when he let up the window that damn yellow frog from earlier that day jumped through and landed on the floor. “Goods evenings,” he greeted pleasantly, as if he hadn’t been ditched earlier that day. “I hopes I’m not bothering yous at dis hour—I was just so afraids you has forgots your promise.”
Toki saw red and immediately began scanning the room for a brick or a cinder block he could just drop on the unwanted creature, but his guests had already noticed the amphibian’s presence.
“DUDE!” ranted Pickles, who was most likely already in a stage of drug-induced hysteria. “That frog just TALKED. Ohmagad. Oh gad I must…I musta got inta some bad reefer or somethin’.”
“No, I am reals,” said the frog to the drummer. “My name’s is Skwisfrogg. How’s do you doos.”
“Oh gad. Maybe that last batch ‘a LSD is still…oh gad. Oh Jesus I think I need ta lay down. I’m…I’m gonna go lay down now.” And poor Pickles was forced to retire to the couch.
Nathan and Murderface—who weren’t strung out on drugs and therefore more able to cope with the illogical—crowded around Skwisfrogg and oohed and ahhed and said how fucking awesome it was that Toki had a talking pet while the Norwegian stood by and gnashed his teeth together in fury.
Nathan held Skwisfrogg in his big hand and petted him nicely. “Man, Toki. You’re like. So lucky to have one of these. Hey, uh…frog. If I, you know…lick you or something, will anything happen?”
“Ja. I’lls piss on yous.”
“Metal!” Murderface—who had a urine fixation—exclaimed gleefully. “Ah jeezsh, Toki. Thish frog izsh sho cool. You better take good care of ‘im.”
“Yeah,” Nathan grunted, handing Skwisfrogg to Toki, who received the cold, moist creature with nothing less than utter repugnance. “Some people would kill to have a talking frog. You better treat that thing like…a prince or something. Fuckin’ royalty. I mean…’cause if you don’t I’m gonna kick your ass. Seriously. Kick it.”
“Yeah, me too!” Murderface agreed.
Toki glowered and reluctantly patted the smiling frog on the head. This was like a bad dream. “No worries about de damn frog, okay?” he muttered. “I keep it safe and sounds, no big deals.”
“We’re holdin’ you to that,” Nathan said, pointing a finger warningly.
“Yeah, sure sure,” Toki snapped, “I gets it already. Can we just watch de movies yet?”
So they all gathered around the big screen, and Skwisfrogg sat on Toki’s shoulder and croaked and offered commentary throughout the whole movie, totally ruining it for Toki. And as if that wasn’t enough, the frog also ate whatever Toki raised to his mouth, and it wasn’t long before Skwisfrogg was coated in a nice layer of buffalo sauce.
When guys’ night was over, Nathan and Murderface left for home with Pickles draped between them like a drunkard, and Toki trudged upstairs to go take a bath. Skwisfrogg followed him up every stair, and when the drowsy Norwegian had settled into the nice spa-bathtub of warm, bubbly water, there came a ribbit from somewhere in the bathroom and then a splash. Toki’s eyes went wide, and moments later Skwisfrogg surfaced and landed on Toki’s bare chest.
“Hey, dis is nice. Do you thinks you coulds maybe scrubs my back? I can’ts reach it wis my tiny little arms.”
Toki let out a scream and sprang from the tub. Forget the bath. No way was he going to be in there naked with a goddamn talking frog with weird lips. Uh uh. No way, Josť. Maybe if he we just went to bed he’d wake up in the morning and all of this would have been a nightmare. So Toki dried off, put on some boxers and climbed into bed.
He was almost asleep when there came a familiar “ribbits!” and Skwisfrogg landed on the pillow. “Your bed’s is nice and soft,” he croaked, “buts my bloods are cold and I needs de warmths. I wills just sleeps on you, ja?”
And before Toki could say anything to protest, Skwisfrogg crawled onto Toki’s chest, curled up into a little ball and went to sleep. Toki stifled his screams in his throat and was forced to bite his fist. The feeling of that cold, damp, nasty pond-scum sucking little monster against his skin was almost nauseating. He wanted to grab that son of a bitch in his fist and squeeze until guts went spewing between his fingers like Jell-O…but the threats of Nathan and Murderface echoed in his mind. There was no way he could ever get away with killing that stupid frog. But maybe there were other methods of getting rid of him and making it look like an “accident”.
Comforted by these murderous thoughts, Toki somehow found sleep. And Skwisfrogg croaked softly on his chest all throughout the night.
In the days and weeks that followed, Toki tried everything he could think of to rid himself of his annoying house guest. One pleasant afternoon Toki invited Skwisfrogg on a picnic far far out in the woods, and after the cold blooded amphibian had fallen asleep while sitting on a sunny rock, Toki quietly packed up and went back home.
But later that night Skwisfrogg knocked on the window and Toki was forced to let him in. “You’s are very forgets-full, Toki,” he chided lightly. “I don’ts knows what’s it woulds be thinking of your friends if dey was to finds out you’s was trying to gets rid of me.”
“Oh I wouldn’t does that!” Toki lied between his smiling teeth. “I’m just such one forgetful guy!” But beneath his skin his blood was boiling with frustration. This horrible creature was utterly ruining his life. Every minute of every day Skwisfrogg wanted to be near Toki. It was impossible to hang out with the neighbors anymore; Skwisfrogg always ragged Toki about how rude his speech was and how he should learn to be more courteous and friendly towards other people. And the neighbors—those backstabbing motherfuckers—they actually backed Skwisfrogg up! It was humiliating to be treated like a child in front of others.
“If you wants to be think of likes an adults,” said Skwisfrogg wisely, “den you’s had better to starts acting likes one.”
Next the Norwegian let the frog go down the drain after bath time. A day later he was back, and Toki had to feign being worried and so glad that Skwisfrogg was safe. The frog made Toki promise to take showers from now on and Toki, for fear of an ass beating, grudgingly consented. Yet another part of his daily life had been unalterably changed. He hated that stupid scummy slimeball with legs more than ever.
His next attempt to eradicate the pond dweller went like this: he gathered up the bed sheets one morning while Skwisfrogg was still sleeping in them and ran them through the washer and the dryer. But the little yellow frog somehow persevered, and again Toki was chastised about being more observant of his guest.
Then one day Toki decided to experiment with cooking, and conveniently swept Skwisfrogg off the counter with a bunch of yellow chili peppers and into the garbage, which immediately went out on the curb in a tightly-sealed aluminum trash can. Toki waved at the garbage man the next morning and enjoyed two days of frog-free peace…but Skwisfrogg, like an amphibious boomerang, came back once again and Toki was forced to sit through a long lecture about being conscious and concerned about missing persons. Then Toki was forced to give Skwisfrogg a bath in the kitchen sink to get rid of the stink that was all over him. That night as the yellow frog slept on his bare chest, Toki contemplated tirelessly what options he had left. There were none. Ass beating or no ass beating, the only thing left to do was to kill Skwisfrogg and get rid of him once and for all.
The next morning Toki nudged the frog awake and said with false cheerfulness, “Wake up, Skwisfrogg! We has a big day to do today!”
Skwisfrogg yawned and replied happily, “Really? Dat’s great! What’s is it we gonna do?”
“Today,” Toki grinned evilly, “I gonna teach you to plays a new game with me. Is called Frog Ball, and I thinks you gonna likes it a lot.”
So after a shared breakfast, Toki tucked Skwisfrogg into his shirt pocket and went out to the garage, found a nice strong cricket bat, and headed towards the back yard. (I know you’re all saying “oh my god noooo!” right about now…and you’re all absolutely right…but just bear with me, there’s a happy ending to this I swear.)
“How’s do we plays dis game?” asked Skwisfrogg innocently.
“Well, first you starts out with a big cricket’s bat, likes this one.”
“And you needs a frog to plays too, that’s where you comes in.” Toki lifted Skwisfrogg out of his pocket and held him in his hand.
“Ja. Den what’s?” he asked.
“Then you…throws him in de airs!” Toki launched the yellow frog high into the sky and waited for the descent. “And then you HITS HIM AS HARD AS YOU CANS!”
And when poor Skwisfrogg started the way down, the Norwegian drew the cricket bat far behind his shoulder and then PROCK! Sent the amphibian flying out above the treetops behind Murderface’s yard so fast that he was nothing but a mustard-colored blur. Babe Ruth had nothing on Toki Wartooth. This was the mother and father of all home runs. In a few seconds Toki lost sight of the frog ball and shrugged, shouldered the cricket bat—which now had a fresh blood splotch on one side—and went home whistling merrily. No more frog. He’d tell the neighbors that it just up and ran away from home.
Or flew away.
Toki burst into maniacal laughter. “If you is what you eats, you musta eat a lotta FLIES, Skwisfrogg!”
And this was Toki’s heartless epitaph for the innocent little creature whom he had cracked deep into left field.
That evening storm clouds rolled in and it rained and thundered. Toki sat inside, nice and warm, and flipped through the channels on TV while eating pizza, thinking about what a horrible past few weeks it had been and how glad he was that he was at last rid of that obnoxious frog. He was so engrossed in watching the screen that he didn’t realize he had been holding the same slice of pizza to his right shoulder for the past 5 minutes. Skwisfrogg had always sat on that shoulder and made Toki feed him whenever it was dinnertime. Right then a strange coldness struck Toki somewhere deep in his belly and he put down the slice of pizza, suddenly not hungry anymore.
He got up, stretched and walked to the window, absently gazing out of the rain streaked glass and into the cold murky night outside. He shivered, grateful—grateful for something for the first time in his life—that he didn’t live at the bottom of a muddy slimy well, that he had a nice home and a warm bed to sleep in every night, unlike some poor bastards out there.
A sharp pang went through Toki’s chest and he coughed. He was probably just coming down with something. Maybe a disease that nasty old frog had given him. Frogonorrhoea or something. Boy was he glad that thing was gone. Boy was he glad. He was glad. He was glad? Was he glad?
Toki jumped, startled. The doorbell. Who on earth would come calling at this hour of night, and in such bad weather? He raced to the front door and opened it. Murderface was standing on his front step, wearing a rain poncho and looking very tired and aggravated.
“Murderface!” gasped Toki. “What’s you doings out there in de rains? Won’t you comes in where-” He stopped short, suddenly realizing that he sounded like a complete and total…nice person. Toki was so stunned by his own unexpected behavior that he couldn’t seem to say another word.
Murderface wasn’t bothered; he lifted his hands and muttered, “Uh. Thish izshn’t your frog, izsh it?”
Cupped in his hands was the bruised, bloody, rain soaked yellow frog, half dead and breathing shallowly. You could see his pale little chest barely rising and falling with each fluttering breath he took. He looked so small and fragile, so cold. Toki took one glance at him and promptly threw up all over the door.
Murderface raised an eyebrow. “I can shee you’re a bit…bizshy. Here’sh your pet. Have a pleazshant evening.”
He passed the battered amphibian into Toki’s hand and was off. Toki wiped the barf from his chin and shut the door behind him. Feelings of rage and frustration overtook him—the final unforgiving tidal wave that would sink the ship—and he looked down at Skwisfrogg and yelled, “Why you keeps coming back? I doesn’t WANTS you! I never DIDS! I’ll teach you to ruins my life, you sons of a bitch-frog!”
Toki marched straight into the kitchen and went to the garbage disposal, flicked on the switch, and dangled the unconscious frog by one leg over the rotating blades of slicing death.
The young Norwegian broke into an insane smile before cackling maniacally. “You be chopped into itty-bitty slimeball bits! Gone forevers! Bye bye, Skwisfrogg! I’ve always hated you and your stupid-”
Toki’s grin faded and a forlorn look washed over his features. You and your stupid baths time. Your new fears of drain and chili pepper. De ways you sleeps on me every night. De ways you wakes me up every morning with your ribbits. De ways my shoulder feel empty when you not sittings there. De ways you makes me feeds you whenever I eats too. De ways you bitches at me to be nice to others people. De ways you keeps coming back to me even though I treats you bad. De ways all you wants is for me to be your friend…
Toki blinked. Hot tears rolled down his cheeks. He turned off the garbage disposal and laid the frog gently in his cupped hand. “All…you wants. Is to be my friend,” he murmured, gazing down at Skwisfrogg, who clung to life by a bare thread. He would not survive the night. His injuries were far too serious. “Okay, Skwisfrogg,” Toki’s voice cracked. “I’ll be your friend. I’ll be a good friend to you, and we can pretends that it always been that way.”
So he took the unconscious frog upstairs and washed him in warm water in the bathroom sink, rinsing off all the dried blood and dirt from his cold body. Then Toki lighted the fireplace in his bedroom, making it warm and cozy compared to the dreary wet night outside. Then he took off his clothes and crawled into bed, and placed Skwisfrogg onto his bare chest, the frog’s customary sleeping place.
Toki looked down at the dying creature and petted the cool golden skin gently with his thumb. “I so sorry, Skwisfrogg,” he whispered. “I sees now that I was such big screw-ups. I was selfish…a selfish idiot. But now I knows. I has all de time in de world for you now. Please…don’t leaves me.”
Skwisfrogg didn’t answer. Toki closed his eyes and fell asleep listening to the rain drip from the eaves and the fire crackle on the hearth. In a while the little yellow frog was dead…but the curse that the evil warlock Selatcia had placed on the Swedish prince Skwisgaar Skwigelf had at last been lifted.
Toki stirred when he became aware of a heavy weight on his body, and when he opened his eyes he was shocked into petrification to find an outrageously handsome man with long golden hair and familiar blue eyes on top of him, smiling lazily.
“Hello,” the stranger murmured in deep hush. “How’s do you doos? My names is Skwisgaar. It’s is a nice evenings to be’s indoor, ja?”
“Skwis-! Skwis-! Gaar!?” Toki stammered, eyes wide in shock. “B-but where’s Skwisfrogg? Wha-what’s has you done with my frog!”
Skwisgaar leaned down very close to the Norwegian’s face and whispered secretively, “I am de frog, Toki.”
“It…” Toki began to slowly calm down and think clearly. “It’s can’t be’s. You can’t be him.”
“I was once a prince, heirs to de metal throne of my father’s,” Skwisgaar explained, sitting up and straddling Toki’s body. “I plays de guitars just likes you’s, but many year agos a man of de dark’s power puts a curse on me dat turneds me into a frog, to keeps me froms becomings de fastest guitar’s player alife. Only de strengths of truths love woulds be ables to breaks de curse.” The Swede smiled and reached down to brush Toki’s brown hair from his forehead. “You was de one who brokes de curse. Only de persons whose can sees past my ugly frog’s skin, my One True Partner, coulds doos it. For dat, Toki, I will spends de rest of my live wis yous.”
Toki tried to talk but he was speechless. Apparently lack of blood flow to his left frontal lobe had something to do with it, and that would make perfect sense, seeing as how most of the blood in his body had now gone straight to his cock. “I…I not likes that,” he said haltingly, though the upright organ was playing a different song.
“I coulds…makes you likes dat,” Skwisgaar murmured with a superior smile as he reached down and grasped Toki’s thick cock in his hand. “And I coulds makes you likes it too.”
Toki closed his eyes and moaned and the ex-frog that had already taught him so much began to teach him something new. When he touched Toki his skin was no longer cold like the blood flowing beneath it, but warm and alive. The voice that spoke to him was still the same familiar tone, yet it was somehow smoother, softer, less coarse. Toki ran his fingers through the golden hair that almost never was, caressed the flesh he had almost destroyed, kissed the lips that might never have whispered “I loves you” to him. And when he slid into Skwisgaar’s body and made him moan in pleasure, Toki returned the phrase to the one who had spoken it first, the first one to have ever spoken it to him.
“I loves you, Skwisfrogg,” he panted. “Stays…with me. Forevers.”
And so Skwisgaar did. And Toki, a new and improved Toki, was never seen without him by his side. They were two peas in a pod, two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, as natural as bread and butter. And they lived together—and loved together—happily ever after.