Chapter Description: Images for this story can be found at the following web...... https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters/home
WHOOOSH! … BOOOOOOOOM!
The noise of the paddle hitting the bed sounded like a thunderclap. I fell to the floor and burst out crying.
She stood over me. “Derrek, you and I both know that that is bullshit. No first day period flow produces this much blood. And I have yet to meet any female who menstruates on the wall. Do you know whose blood this is?”
My voice could barely squeak out, “Yes.”
“And would you like to tell me that person’s name?”
I cried so hard and after a moment, I whimpered out, “I can’t.”
I expected Sammantha to slam her paddle again, but she simply asked, “Why not?”
I took a few deep breaths and when I was ready to speak, I told her, “Because Kitti made me promise not to tell my mommy about anything that happened over the weekend.”
I was sure the next ‘whoosh’ of her paddle would be upon my buttocks, but again, Sammantha spoke calmly. “I see. Well, it’s important that we keep our promises, isn’t it? You and I have talked about that on many occasions.”
I whispered, “I guess so.”
“Okay, well then you need to get dressed. I’ve scheduled for us to go to a cookout this afternoon and I promised our host that you were a pretty good hamburger-flipper … and I would volunteer your services as a helper. Do you think you can do it?”
This lifeline thrown to me sure came out of left field, but I wasn’t going to argue. “Sure, Mom … I can do it. Who’s our host?”
I wasn’t going to question good fortune. I certainly dodged a bullet back at our apartment … because I didn’t think Sammantha would allow me to honor my promise to Kitti without a punishment. I had the uneasy feeling that the babysitter incident wasn’t over yet.
I didn’t say much on our mystery trip. It was just a ten minute ride to a modest looking colonial house in northeast Buffalo. Sammantha brought the Porsche up the driveway and we got out and knocked on the front door.
Our knock was answered by a rather large man in his fifties with sweater, jeans and a full beard. I would guess he had to be around 6 foot 2 … maybe 230 or 240 pounds.
Sammantha surprised me by speaking with a gravelly low falsetto voice.
“Say hello to my LEETLE friend!”
She and the man roared with laughter as I recalled the famous quote from Al Pacino in the movie ‘Scarface’. Pacino was referencing his gun, but Sammantha was obviously describing me.
The large man invited us in and he offered me his hand. “You must be young Derrek. My daughter’s told me a lot of good things about you.”
I was in total awe. This was Sammantha’s father, the man who raised a superhuman. My eyes were aglow as I reached out to meet his large hand. I squeezed it as hard as I could and attempted to manipulate it up and down.
“That’s quite a grip you’ve got there, young man.”
“I’m very, very pleased to meet you, sir. This is a wonderful surprise.” I turned my head back and said, “Thanks, Mom.”
“Derrek, this is my dad, Paul Adams. He’s a professor of linguistics at the University at Buffalo.
“Well, Sam,” the man said, “You always used to come home with stray dogs and now you seem to have found yourself a little boy … and a handsome one at that … Derrek you’re probably too young to have heard of Paul McCartney and the Beatles but you’ve got the hairstyle down to a ‘T’.”
I returned a huge smile. “Oh, no sir … Everyone’s heard of the Beatles.”
Sammantha suggested, “Why don’t the two of you get acquainted outside at the grill while I set up the dining room table?”
Mr. Adams took the burger patties out of the frig and led me out back to the grill. “Today, young Derrek, you are going to be the chef-meister. Here is your weapon.”
I was handed a heavy duty spatula and a plate of pre-cut patties. The grill was hot … I had done this many times.
“So I hear you’re allergic to water, Derrek.”
This guy doesn’t beat around the bush. I answered simply, “Yes, sir.”
“Well I don’t believe it … Or I choose not to believe it. And I don’t want you to demonstrate it either. I agreed to be Sammantha’s emergency backup in case you had an accident. If so, she asked me to simply shelter you, and you would get back to normal on your own … whatever ‘normal’ happens to be.”
“Derrek, I support my daughter 100 percent, unconditionally … and if she says that you’re a part of her family, then you’re a part of mine too, and you’ll always be welcome here.”
“Thank you, sir … Sammantha is a real hero to me. And she’s so nice. She took me downtown to the theatre, to the aquarium, to nice restaurants—“
“Then you know what a lucky boy you are. Sam is quite special.”
“She told me that growing up, she would rather have been a boy.”
“365 days a year … and February 29th.”
“That must have been very hard for both of you.”
“Middle school was a living hell for her … It was brutal … She considered ‘hurting’ herself. I’m sure she must have mentioned that.”
“Yes, sir … And high school wasn’t much better, facing the bully, Gort Canker.”
“Derrek, I can tell you’re a good person. You have empathy. The Canker boy was NOT a good person.”
“Were you surprised by what she did to him?”
“No, I was surprised that she didn’t kill him … It’s your move, Derrek, time to flip ‘em.”
“Yes, sir.” I did the chef ‘thing’ and moved the patties to side two.
“Derrek, as long as Canker is alive, you never know when he might show up, but we can’t live our lives in fear.”
“I understand, sir … Mom says her match with him has become an urban legend.”
“Oh yes … like the Loch Ness monster. Some believe and some don’t … Derrek, you seem like an intelligent boy. Why is it that you don’t go to school?”
“Well, Mom is home schooling me for now, but she wants me to enroll so that I’ll be able to play sports at the middle school. I’m sort of a ‘quasi’ orphan. My dad left when I was seven and my mother has serious alcohol issues.”
“Well, Sam must be thrilled to be your ‘quasi’ mom. How did you two meet?”
“We first noticed each other when I went to Dr. Frumpy’s office.”
“Ha! Frumpy! … Did Mom tell you where Frumpy parks her head?”
“Yes, sir … but I won’t repeat it.”
“Good for you, Derrek … You are very polite boy. Why don’t you check and see if our burgers are done grilling.”
I soon discovered that the burgers weren’t the only thing that would face a grilling at this cookout. My turn would be next.
Sammantha had laid out all the condiments, chips, and drinks. She had become a little more lenient in allowing me to drink coke sometimes. And they both raved about my chef skills. I received two thumbs up.
“These are perfect, sweety. I’m going to have to put you to work more often. Dad wasn’t kidding when he called you the ‘chef-meister’.”
“Thanks, Mom … I need something to help me earn my keep.”
Paul Adams then brought up the ‘new’ elephant in the room. “So Derrek … Sam said that you had a babysitter this weekend.”
(Oh dear, this was certainly a trap. Sammantha must have figured that a large man like her dad, in a friendly setting like a cookout, would relax me into spilling the beans.)
“Yes sir, I did.”
“Did anything exciting happen? … Anything out of the ordinary?”
I mumbled with food in my mouth, “Not really.”
He leaned in my direction. “Well how do you suppose all that blood got spread around in your mom’s bedroom?”
With food still in my mouth, I shrugged.
He then leaned in closer. “Is it true that the babysitter made you promise not to tell your mom about anything that happened during the weekend?”
I was getting really nervous. “Yes, sir.”
“And did she also make you promise not to tell Paul Adams what happened?”
I sat motionless for several tense seconds and replied, “No, sir.”
Mr. Adams picked up his chair at the dining room table and moved it adjacent to mine. Then he whispered in my ear, “So do you think you can whisper back whose blood it was in the bedroom?”
I put down my hamburger and frowned. Now I knew the real reason for the cookout … Sammantha had created a loophole whereby I could keep my promise to Kitti, and yet tattle on her without guilt. I had no way out.
I turned and whispered into Mr. Adam’s ear, “It was Chikon’s blood.”
He immediately yelled out, “Chicken Blood?!! What the hell was this girl doing, operating a satanic cult?!!
I was startled by the volume of the man’s voice, and I said back (out loud), “No, no … Chikon Crudup was her boyfriend, not the bird … different spelling … C-h-i-k-o-n … and he’s Dorcus’s older brother.”
Then he leaned forward again and whispered, “Why was he bleeding?”
I whispered back, “Because I stabbed him with a three-inch safety pin.”
Paul Adams again yelled my response as a question, “You stabbed him with a three-inch safety pin?! Why would you do that?”
I dispensed with the whispering since it wasn’t serving its intended purpose. “Because he beat me … And I knew that the two of them weren’t supposed to be having sex on Mom’s bed.”
He followed up, “Well how do you know they were having sex?”
“’Cause I could hear the bed going ‘boingy’, boingy.”
Sammantha and her dad got a good chuckle out of that answer.
Mom added, “Sweety, I’m very proud of you, not for messing up my bedroom, but for avoiding getting caught by Kitti and Chikon. I don’t think we’ll be inviting her or the Crudup family to our Christmas party this year.”
“And Mom, remember how we talked about a proportional response? That’s why I didn’t kill them both with a butcher knife.”
“Well, that was very thoughtful of you, sweety. And just to note, when I gave Kitti her wad of twenty-dollar bills I inserted in the middle, a used condom, which I had found under the bed during my inspection.”
“Woah, Mom! I would love to have seen the look on Kitti’s face when she counted her money … So you knew all along that Kitti and her boyfriend had sex on your bed.”
“Of course, sweety. If it was you having sex with Kitti, I wouldn’t expect you to be using a condom.”
(Does ‘oral’ count as sex? I’m not volunteering anything. I’ll use the Bill Clinton doctrine … I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Kitti.)
Sammantha continued, “I didn’t care so much if they did the ‘nasty’, but I wanted to make sure that no one had been murdered in my bed. That would probably have spoiled my weekend.”
Mr. Adams asked, “So Derrek, what did those two do about your little pin?”
“Kitti drove Chikon to the ER and then came back to clean up.”
Sammantha raised an eyebrow. “She left you alone? That’s a cardinal sin for a babysitter.”
“So, Mom, would you hire Kitti again to be my babysitter?”
“When pigs fly.”
Mr. Adams made a proposition to change the subject. “How about if the two of you come out to my boat next weekend?”
“Dad, no-can-do … Remember I said that Lake Erie is fresh water and Derrek can only handle salt water.”
I excitedly piped in, “Mom, can we please go to the ocean?”
Sammantha folded her arms. “In your dreams, kid.”
Paul Adams would have none of it. “Oh yes, Sam, you did mention the boy’s fictitious disease called Aquagenic Urticaria. That’s fine. I’ll just pretend to believe you and move on from there. You and Derrek will always have my unconditional love and support.”
We said our warm goodbyes with Sammantha’s father and packed up a few extra burgers for dinner.
“Thanks, Mom … I really like your dad.”
“And I’m sure he liked you too, sweety.”
The next morning, there was a change in routine.
“Sweety, I just got called into work and I have to run. I was supposed to lead a group session next week, but their group leader has a conflict and he asked if he could bring his people in today … So I’ll be gone the whole day. I’ll leave you fifty bucks for food delivery if you want that. Otherwise, stay in the apartment, don’t break anything of mine, and don’t break the law. Can you handle that for one day, sweety?”
“I’m not sure, Mom. Do you think you can trust me without a babysitter?”
“The prospect scares me shitless, but I’ll pray that you haven’t turned into a baby by the time I get back.”
I nodded. “No problem, Mom. Have fun at your job.”
“I’ll try, sweety. Remember, you’ll be home alone.”
Stories of Age/Time Transformation