Five Resolutions Vince Wrote Down, but Forgot

Writing things down was supposed to help you remember, wasn't it?

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Five Resolutions Vince Wrote Down, but Forgot by Amy Wolf

1. Stop helping Howards plans two pull Mirsus Gideon.

Vince first wrote this down after the boxing match where Howard nearly got his face eaten by a kangaroo. But he used it as a bookmark while writing the first Charlie book, and it accidentally got left in a box of Weetabix.

He wrote it down again after Howard nearly got his head cut off. This time he hid it in the back of the cupboard in the keeper’s hut, so he wouldn’t lose it.

He forgot it was there. Howard found it four days later.

“What’s this?” Howard asked, shoving the paper in Vince’s face.

“I don’t know.” Vince shrugged. “Did you get it from a fortune cookie?”

“No, I did not. I got it from this cupboard.” Howard pointed dramatically.

“Cool.” Vince grinned. “A fortune cupboard. Let me try.” He reached for the handle.

Howard blocked his way. “You wrote this. Don’t try to deny it.”

“How do you know that? What are you accusing me for? It could have been anyone.”

“It’s in your handwriting! And everyone else who works here can spell. Except Fossil, and he doesn’t know how to hold a pencil.”

“Oh, yeah. I did write that. Cheers, thanks.” Vince grabbed for the paper.

Howard held it out of reach. “Why would you write this? We’re supposed to be friends. What’s wrong with helping a friend meet the woman he fancies? Why wouldn’t you want to help me?”

Vince scratched his head. There’d been a good reason at the time. Something important.

“I’ll tell you why.” Howard poked his finger in Vince’s face. “Because you fancy Mrs. Gideon yourself. Because you want her, and you’re plotting to go behind my back to steal her away from me.”

“No, that wasn’t it.” Vince was quite sure. Mind you, Mrs. Gideon wasn’t a bad looker, but he’d had a better reason than that. Something Howard wouldn’t even get mad over, if he only explained.

“What is it, then?” Howard stared at Vince’s blank expression. “Exactly.” He stepped back. “I’m onto you now. Cross me, my friend, and I’ll come at you like a buzzard.” He turned and stalked out.

Vince finally remembered his reason. “Because you almost got killed!” he shouted. But it was too late. Howard had left.

2. If Howard says he luvs yu dont laff. Say it back furst.

He hadn’t meant anything by laughing. He’d been scared about the whole dying thing, then Howard cheered him up with the crimp, and the “I love you,” and he’d laughed. Because it was funny. Howard’s rubbish timing; saying it when they were just about to die. How good Howard was at cheering him up. The way Howard acted like it was this big scary thing that they loved each other, when they were about to be killed by an ice-monster.

But laughing was the wrong thing to do, it turned out. Howard got mad. And when Vince said it back, he didn’t believe him. It all just turned out wrong.

Vince was going to explain, but then there was Bainbridge, and the dancing monster with ice coming out of the crotch fighting the polar bear, and having to call Gary Newman for a ride home, and a really cool hat, and he got distracted. He never did get around to sorting it out.

It wasn’t like Howard could complain about that. Vince never actually got his Hula Hoops. It turned out that racing alligators weren’t the next big thing, and Howard’s investment went bust.

To cheer him up, Vince brought home a couple of bottles. Howard wouldn’t drink mixed drinks; he said there was a simple truth to him, which demanded simple drinks. And Vince firmly believed that alcohol should come in attractive colors. So he bought some red wine. It was the only drink they could both agree on.

“You know what, Vince?” Howard slurred, after the last bottle had run out. “You’re my only friend. The only one who stands by me. No one else even likes me.”

“That’s not true,” said Vince. “Charlie likes you. He likes you a lot.” Charlie would sneak in to watch Howard sleep, and tell Vince things. Like how many times Howard turned over, and what time it was when he snored. Vince thought it was a bit weird, to tell the truth. But that was Charlie.

“Who? Your drawing? Forget Charlie. I’m not talking about him.” He leaned in and breathed wine-breath in Vince’s face. “I’m talking about you. You’re special.”

“I know.” Vince nodded. He was a gifted child, he could talk to animals, and he had gorgeous cheekbones and a natural instinct for fashion.

“You’re special to me.” Howard poked Vince in the chest. “I’m trying to say, I love you.”

Vince couldn’t help it. He laughed.

He remembered too late that he shouldn’t do that. Fortunately Howard passed out on Vince’s lap right then. When Vince tried to move him, he muttered, “Get in my wheelbarrow,” and buried his face in Vince’s crotch. So Vince just left him there and slept sitting up on the sofa.

The next day, Vince wrote his resolution down. So he’d be ready when it happened again.

3. Don’t run off wen Howard thros a strop. Bad monstars try two shag him.

After Naboo finally got rid of Old Gregg, Vince cornered Howard and asked him, “What was that?”

Howard didn’t meet Vince’s eyes. “Old Gregg.”

“I know. He said.” A lot. “But what was he? Why did he keep saying you two were getting married? Are you marrying the fish monster?”

“Not if I can help it.” Howard shook his head.

“So he was just daft, then?”

Howard sighed. “I sort of told him that I would marry him.”

“Why?” Vince frowned. “Do you fancy fish, then?”

“No! He threatened me. He was going to have me stuffed and mounted on the wall.” Howard started pacing.

Don’t laugh, Vince told himself. Don’t laugh, don’t laugh, don’t laugh. “Howard, did you nearly get bummed by a fish?”

“No. I think he wanted to wait until we were married. And…he wasn’t going to bum me. He had a…mangina.”

“Mangina?” Vince shook his head, and walked over to the desk.

“What are you doing?” Howard turned. “Vince? Are you writing? What are you writing?”

Vince finished the first sentence. “You know how creepy things are always trying to shag you?”

“No! No, they’re not always trying to shag me! This was a one time incident!”

“What about the yetis?”

“I remember you being on that bed as well, my friend.”

“Only because I came to rescue you!”

“I’m not some kind of monster lust-magnet. I don’t have to stand here and be insulted!” Howard flung the door open and stormed out.

Vince finished writing, and tucked the note into his pocket. Then he ran out after Howard.

He didn’t want anything scary trying to shag Howard again.

4. Don’t eat Howards rekurds.

It wasn’t getting sick that really bothered him. That was a bit horrible, yes. Scatting like some kind of jazz-loving git. Besides, Naboo said he nearly died.

Still, Howard saved him. Which was nice. Vince liked being rescued by Howard. It was like rescuing Howard, but backwards. And without worrying about Howard being shagged by a fish. Or a yeti. Or an abusive coconut. Or Eleanor.

Most of the people who fancied Howard were a bit scary, now that Vince thought about it.

Still, Vince rescued Howard from creepy people who wanted to shag him, and Howard rescued Vince from jazz-demons. It was their system. It worked. So he didn’t mind almost getting killed all that much.

And it wasn’t ruining his punk career that bothered him. He was getting bored with punk. He liked dressing up and having everyone cheer for him, but he was getting tired of being angry. He kept running out of things to be angry about. He’d had to follow Howard around and write down things that made him angry. And Vince didn’t think, “Someone moved my Blu Tack,” made for proper punk rock.

Besides, Vince wanted to do something where he could wear glitter again. He liked glitter. He missed it.

Proper punks didn’t wear glitter, either. Being punk was a bit rubbish, actually. So Vince didn’t mind that eating Howard’s record had wrecked his chances of being punk.

It was the look on Howard’s face. He looked angry and miserable at the same time. Vince knew Howard was going to give himself a Chinese burn the moment everyone else was out of the room. Sit around thinking about how his record got eaten and hurt himself.

And it was all Vince’s fault.

Proper punks didn’t feel bad about things like that. Proper punks mocked people like Howard, and laughed when they got upset. Which, okay it was great fun to laugh at Howard, but only when he was being a git. Not when he was really bothered.

Being a punk was definitely rubbish, Vince decided, if it meant being meant to Howard.

5. If Howard wants two be yur boyfriend aftur snoggginging, say yes rite away befur gurls show up.

All right, so Howard had just said all that stuff. About how he’d never even been kissed, and his first time would be forever. But Vince wasn’t thinking about that. Honestly.

He was thinking about the big shouting shaman coming at him with an enormous sword. And how he and Howard always saved each other from bad things trying to kill them.

So he told the shaman that he and Howard were in love. Which was a bit of a lie. Maybe. Vince wasn’t sure anymore. There was supposed to be some difference between loving someone, and being in love. It didn’t entirely make sense.

Anyway, Vince he kissed Howard. To make the big sword-swinging shaman go away.

Maybe. Vince wasn’t sure any more.

Then it got complicated. Howard started talking, and Vince figured it was a load of rubbish, because, well, Howard was talking. He kept going off about love in ways that were just weird. But Howard tended to act like a complete lunatic any time he thought someone might fancy him.

Vince kind of liked the idea of Howard as a proper boyfriend, though. Sure, he could be annoying and ridiculous, and didn’t know how to snog. But he also looked after Vince a lot. Helped him when he had problems. Explained things. Saved him from things.

There were worse boyfriends than the guy who was always there when you needed him.

And then they fell off the roof.

Lying on the bouncy castle, staring at the stars and Howard’s smile, Vince decided it would be a bit of all right being Howard’s boyfriend. If it was this fun, and made Howard smile like this, it had to be a good thing. They could sort out the kissing later. Practice.

He was just about to tell Howard, when that girl turned up. And that was the end of that.

Still, he didn’t take it too hard. He was Vince Noir. Things turned out for him; that was how everything worked. Problems lasted just long enough to make it really interesting when it went right again. Sooner or later, that girl would chuck Howard. And sooner or later, Howard would come back to Vince.

Vince would be ready this time. He’d say yes right away.

He’d written it down, hadn’t he?

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