The first three strategic interventions created only a muted response from the defacto-governmental officials. I had personally thought that using their world as a colored pencil- pin cushion was a uniquely creative way to show my disdain for the mere mortals. A few bureaucrats were slightly unnerved, but the majority of the governing bodies were still assuming that they would have a say-so in the new governing of their world.
They feigned concerned at my surprisingly immense powers to effortlessly infiltrate their world. The news organizations in each of the largest municipal groups kept the local populous unenlightened as to my unlimited sovereign authority.
My tauntings had been broadcast to the world as the birthing and showcasing of a budding abstract artist just of the cusp of stardom.
I did not see myself having any desire to become a demonic dictator of my New World Order, but I would be respected and obeyed. If humane warnings and benevolent power displays would not graciously compel them to bend-the-knee, I had other options.
I gave a silent chuckle. Any time Ashton began his pleas of innocence with an “I didn’t do it.” I could be fairly sure He had done it. He was not a good fibber. For that, as a mother, I was very grateful and I hoped this flaw would last another ten years.
“The camera was in my purse when we left the car.” I tried to remain calm. It was really no big deal that Ashton was so excited about using the camera. I had intended to show him some of the tricks-of-the-trade on our outing anyway. But he needed to learn a little patience.
“If you took it, you need to tell me, son. You’re constantly getting distracted and losing things. How many times have we had this conversation? This new camera is not a toy.”
“Mom, I didn’t take it.”
This time his response had more of a-ring-of-truth to it.
“Then where is it?” I thought I would short cut all the cajoling and cut straight to the chase.
“He has it.” Ashton was pointing directly behind me.
Quickly I turned right to look behind me. There was no one there.
“Ashton, I’m not upset with you, yet. I understand that you want to use the camera to complete your zoological tour project. That’s a good thing. A very responsible thing. That’s why I went ahead a purchases the camera before your birthday. But we’re getting to that point of no return. We’ve talked about this.” I was very proud of myself for keeping my cool.
“It’s right there is his hand, Mom.”
“Ashton…” I said as I turned again. This time to my left.
And there it was. Two adult macaques were busy passing my new camera between themselves looking at it with fascination.
“Read the sign, Mom.”
Right above me was bold red sign. The printing in bold block letters.
Watch Your Belongings
“You really need to be more careful with things, Mom.” The sweet words melted from Ashton’s lips as they curled into a million dollar grin.
“Merry Christmas,” Marigold, the youngest of Robin’s and Marian’s (no longer a maid but now his wife) youngest girl whispered as she handed her father her personally wrapped present. “I made it myself.”
Robin glowed as he received the present. Marigold was the only girl of seven children, the rest being boys.
Slowing opening the heavily-taped present, more slowly than usual, for he loved to tease his only girl, Robin carefully unfolded the yet-to-be-discovered masterpiece.
It was a new hunting hood. Bright, florescent orange.
Marigold was beaming. “Do you like it, Dad?”
“It’s just beautiful, honey,” responded Robin as he gave his youngest a great hug.
“Now, you have to wear it every day when you go out hunting. I want to be sure you are safe in Sherwood Forest. There are a lot of bandits prowling around in the woods and a person can never be too cautious.”
Robin’s oldest boys were splitting their sides trying to stifle their giggles.
Little Marigold had no idea of the noble errantry that was her father’s life’s work.
Written for Writingscapes (In a weird twist of fate, Robin Hood’s hood is bright orange): Humor.
“Finally setting out the saplings for your new orchard, Ahiezer?” I was riding my roan for our daily necessaries and I often stop in a seen Aliezer. Now that his son was away, Aliezer always had his hands busy making improvements on his farm for his boy’s return.
“Well, yes… and no?”
“Well, actually I’m planting the fence row for my new free-range settin’ hen yard.”
“You’re plantin’ fence posts?”
“Yep,” Aliezer smiled as he looked up at me. “In about five year I will be able to expand my free-range for the laying hens and I’ll have posts to preduce fruit for my son’s medical herbarium.”
“Yep,” Aliezer face was now bursting with pride. “Little ‘Zer will have finished business- accounting school and we plan to enlarge the family farm into a botanical manufacturing complex.”
“That sounds grand,” I tried to say with honest enthusiasm even though I had no idea what he was talking about.
“Yep, I think we’ll have cornered the market. This fruit is a wonder fruit. Tattooists use it for making ink to create temporary skin art. Mystics use it for consecrating their followers- blessing them with protection from diseases and misfortunes. Healers use it for tonics that assist in curing stomach ailments and other internal maladies. Hunters use the juices for insect repellent. Even the local bakers have sent in advance orders of the ripened fruit for ice cream flavorings and jellies and jams.”
“Wow, I might just have to look into …”
“Step on down and come in a sit a spell.” Aliezer was no longer smiling. “I’m afraid I’ve run off at the mouth a tad too much.” He had picked up his machete and was pointing toward to house. “I’m afraid you know a little too much. I am truly sorry, my friend.”
I paused. He’s just a kid. How did he get through those two biometric doors?
“I don’t want to do this, but I will.”
“I don’t want you to do this either,” I responded. “Let’s talk.” I was relieved. Usually I’m the one who has to initiate conversation. This kid wants to talk. “My name’s Antonio,” I said. “What’s yours?”
“My uncle was named Antonio.”
Ouch?Good coincidence? Bad one? I kept going. “Antonio’s a pretty common name. In fifth grade, I had another kid with my name.”
“So, what’s your name?” asking again.
“Miguel.” He turned as he said it.
Oh, God. He’s not over twelve years old. I took several deep breaths to calm myself. “Miguel, you must be a very bright young man. This place is not easy to access.” What do I talk to this kid about?
“Miguel De La Rosa. Fourteen.” My com finally sounded. “Admitted four days ago. Suicide attempt. Antonio was his uncle. Marine. Afghanistan. Recently deceased. Suicide. Recipient of three Purple Hearts. Miguel has a mother and three younger brothers.” Finally some info on this kid. “We’ll keep listening.” Up to this point I had been running on empty. “He likes sports.”
“Miguel,” I inched closer. “How ‘bout stepping down off the safety wall. Let’s sit and talk. It’s right windy up here and it’s hard for me to hear.” I stepped closer. Miguel seemed not to notice. Now near the parapet, I sat. “I’ve got two boys. Rafael’s probably a little younger than you. He plays soccer. You into soccer?”
Carefully I reached into my back pocket and pulled my wallet. Opening it, I flipped to the pictures of my boys.
Miguel stepped from the wall and sat by me.
I think this one’s a win.
Written for Secret Attic Weekly Write: Dialogue Starters.
“Look out the window, dear,” I tried to remain calm. “We have 57 inches of snow outside right now. There are drifts over 10 feet deep. You have had to climb through the window to get outside to shovel the kitchen door open the last two days to go feed the livestock and the hens because of the blowing winds.”
“Yes, the wind seems to be blowing all the snow away.”
“No, dear.” It’s hard to be the sane one in a couple when I have been house-bound for eight days. “The snow is still there. Just look out your window. You can see it.”
“If we just get a little more snow, maybe they will cancel school for the rest of the week.”
“Darling, schools have already been called off until at least next Monday. We heard it on the radio last night.”
“Oh, that’s right,” my husband replied. “I remember.”
FYI: I could have been this person. I loved the start of school. I loved vacation days. I loved each Monday to see the students again. I loved a surprise day off.
It’s strange, even after being retired for several years, I still look forward to the first day of school and I still love snow days off from school.
The afternoon sun blazed down on our snowy mountain oasis. Our winter family retreat was coming to a close.
It had been a great time.
The days were filled with sledding and skiing and snowball-fights. In the evenings we assisted Mom with home-baked cookies and we gophered for Dad as he manned the outdoor grill. Each night we gathered in front of the fireplace as a family or games of trivia or charades.
Being the family prankster, I had enjoyed pulling tricks on each of my seven brothers and sisters. I even got a good one on Mom last night.
This year, however, I had been caught a little off-guard my family’s friendliness upon receiving my Christmas ‘treats’.
Thursday night, I was successful with placing plastic roaches in my oldest sister’s salad. On Friday night, I taped balloons to the back of the bedroom doors of my two youngest brothers so that when they opened the door completely the balloons meet with pins and burst.
Saturday night, my luck ran out. I placed my oldest brother’s hand in warm water while he was asleep. He woke up before he wet the bed.
After each and every trick, there were shouts and giggles.
But the strangest thing was that after each prank, that person just stopped dead still, looked me right in the eye, and said very calmly, “Pranks sure are a lot of fun. Aren’t they, Freddy?”
After hearing that same statement, said exactly the same way, for nine times during our winter weekend get-away… Well, let me tell you … It was a little nerve racking.
So I was just a little relieved as I took the youngest out for our final hide-and-go-seek as the rest of the family packed the station wagon and the van.
“98… 99… 100. Ready or Not. Here I come!”
I stepped away from the tree.
My forehead banged back against it.
I tried to step again… but my arms wouldn’t come loose from the tree trunk.
I was stuck.
Suddenly, I was surrounded by laughing and giggling. Two snowballs hit me on my left shoulder.
“Mom!!!!” I screamed.
“I’m right here,” she said as I got another snowball to my backsides.
There was another countdown. All at once the yelled together, “Pranks sure are a lot of fun. Aren’t they, Freddy?”