From The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes
Rockybado, the Robot King of the Island of Texamilio, and the eight kids were sitting by an old oak tree, drinking some coffee or tea or whatever they really wanted. They went to a coffee shop today and decided to try new things, like the Calignobia. Some went with the Calignobia. Others went with the mint tea. And yet some others went with a hazelnut latte.
Things seemed to be going alright for quite a while. Nothing was to be worried about. The Patriotic Mosquitoes had not made their appearance yet. Or at least for quite some time. Everyone seemed to enjoy their drink of choice for the time being, until they all heard a very familiar sound.
The sound of a very familiar cowbell was faint at first. One may or may not be able to hear it at this point. But then, the sound of the cowbell grew louder and louder by the minute.
“Weeeeeee’re heeeeeeere,” Sam announced after a cowbell solo, performed by DR.
“Wonderful job,” Rockybado remarked.
“And no. You still cannot have the three islands.”
“Aw, come on! It’s Tuesday!” Sam exclaimed.
“What does Tuesday have to do with anything?” Rockybado questioned the leader of the Patriotic Mosquitoes.
“Tuesday is the best day of the week.”
“I honestly thought that the best day of the week was Friday.”
“No. I believe it’s Tuesday.”
“Well, that could be your opinion, though.”
“It is, and it’s right.”
Since when would someone say that Tuesday is the best day of the week? For some, Tuesday's are typically pretty great. For others, Tuesday's are typically pretty horrible. In most cases, probably not horrible. Just annoying because it's Tuesday. This day may not be the absolute best for most, but it would probably not be the absolute worst either. This Tuesday was probably not going to be the absolute best for the Patriotic Mosquitoes. But then again, the Patriotic Mosquitoes might find a way to make their Tuesday pretty great. And they would try to do this by getting away with taking the three supposedly fictitious islands. This was about to get interesting.
“Did you actually have a plan to take over the islands?” Rockybado asked.
“We were just gonna come in and take them,” Lisa replied.
“Well, we did have some plans, but they seem to have failed.”
“Yes, they most certainly did,” Rockybado replied.
“At least you recognize that,” Lisa said.
“I recognized it from the very beginning. The point is, you didn’t really seem to have a plan. You were waltzing all around Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai asking to take the islands. That is not the best strategy in my book.”
“Then, if that’s not it, then what is?”
“You just need a bigger and better plan.”
“As long as you don’t take the three islands.”
This didn't look amazing on the side of the Patriotic Mosquitoes. Rockybado, Dacston, and Marty had all concluded that the Patriotic Mosquitoes did not have the best motive possible to take over the islands. If the Patriotic Mosquitoes were not making any official plans, then what did they have to lose? Why did they have no motive? What were they going to prove when they just said they were going to take over the three islands? They couldn't just walk in and say they could take over the three islands. That would not have been cool. It was totally uncool for the Patriotic Mosquitoes to advertise who they were with absolutely no motive. And their name might have been a bit laughable as well. At least to those who haven't always associated mosquitoes with being patriotic.
“So, why are you called the Patriotic Mosquitoes?” David questioned.
“Because we care deeply for our land and our citizens. We all got power hungry, and we wanted more land,” Sam replied.
“So that is why you wanted the three islands all along?”
“I agree with Rockybado. You should have been more strategic,” David said.
“Do we still have a chance at the three islands?” Sam questioned.
“No, I don’t think you do.”
“You didn’t have a chance at the very get-go.”
“I realized that.”
“Sad, but true.”
Sam and the fellow Patriotic Mosquitoes started feeling sorry for themselves. None of them would have gone for a coffee at the moment. They were not in good moods at all. Not now, especially since their so-called "motive," if they even had one, was unveiled. Even though coffee normally lightens the mood, it may not always. For about five minutes, no one said a word. Not even the word "it" was said. Rockybado didn't know what else to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes. The kids didn't quite know what to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes. Sam didn't know what to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes.
“What I find depressing is that you didn’t think you had enough power so you decided to take over these islands,” Levi remarked, shaking his head.
“Yeah, I guess that is pretty depressing,” Sam replied.
“Then, why did you think this was all a good idea?”
“Well, it’s all better than playing the odds against some land, I suppose.”
“What is that even supposed to mean?” Levi questioned.
“I am rambling,” Sam commented.
“You are kinda rambling.”
“I do like speedbags, though.”
“What are you talking about?”
“They’re fun to play with.”
“I don’t doubt that at all. I actually have a speedbag in my garage. My dad and I renovated it when I was in high school.”
“Is that right?”
It was definitely one of those moments when a drum roll would have been appropriate. Rockybado was waiting for the Patriotic Mosquitoes to make up their own mind about Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai. The sad looks on their faces gave Rockybado and the kids a somewhat obvious indicator. But it could have meant something else, too. They might have been sad because they missed their flight to London. That place is pretty cool, so many people would want to make a point to go there some time. But Rockybado still waited for the “drum roll” to subside and for Sam to tell him what his plans were going to be.
A few minutes later….
“So, what are you going to do, Sam?” Rockybado asked the leader of the Patriotic Mosquitoes. It was the ultimatum of ultimatums.
“I surrender,” Sam replied slowly, his head hanging down.
“It’s a deal. You must not request to take the three islands.”
“I accept the deal, even though it was not what I wanted.”
“I’m sorry to be a bearer of bad news, but I think it will be for the better,” Rockybado remarked.
“I understand,” Sam replied with a sigh.
“So, what will you be doing now?”
“I suppose we Patriotic Mosquitoes need to book a flight to Italy and eat our weight in pasta.”
“You would definitely like Italy.”
“I’ve always wanted to go there.”
With a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head, Sam had surrendered to the rightful rulers of the three islands. Even though he had lost his bet with the three islands, Sam was going to make sure that his loss wasn't so bitter. If he won the three fictitious islands, he and the Patriotic Mosquitoes were going to travel somewhere. Even if he lost the three fictitious islands, which he did, he and the Patriotic Mosquitoes were still going to travel somewhere. The Patriotic Mosquitoes had a plan.
“Rockybado,” Sam got the Robot King of the Island’s attention.
“Yes, Sam?” Rockybado responded.
“What did you enjoy most about Italy?”
“What did I enjoy most about Italy?”
“Yes,” Sam replied.
“The spaghetti,” Rockybado replied.
“Oh please. Of all things in Italy….the spaghetti?”
“Yes, the spaghetti. What were you expecting me to say?”
“The splendor of the Italian scenery, the warm fellowship of the citizens. You’re the Robot King of the Island, so I was thinking you’d say something a little more correct.”
“Well, I like their spaghetti, so if that’s a little incorrect for you, I don’t know what could be more correct.”
“Well, enough with the chit chat, I guess. My fellow comrades and I have a mission to accomplish. We are gonna go to Italy and take in the splendor of the Italian scenery, as well as the warm fellowship of the citizens because I like to be correct.”
“Have fun in Italy!”
Sam motioned Lisa, DR, Elly, and the other Patriotic Mosquitoes over to where he was. They had to book yet another flight, since their flight to London didn’t work out. As a matter of fact, the Patriotic Mosquitoes wanted to go to Italy, since they have been to England before. It took the Patriotic Mosquitoes to leave the island while Rockybado watched them leave. In a matter of fifteen minutes, the Patriotic Mosquitoes had finally left to go to Italy. And there was much rejoicing for Rockybado and the kids, as well as Dacston and Marty, and everyone else who rule these three islands.
“So, that is over. Finally,” Rockybado said to everyone.
“So, what are we gonna do now?” Andrew asked for everyone.
“I think we should get everyone together for a fiesta. I hear the dinosaurs over at Galavanti Island are amazing fiesta planners.”
“Yes, they are.”
“And I’m also in the mood for some jazz music. I hear they are excellent musicians over there,” Rockybado said.
“Absolutely,” Andrew replied.
“Well, what are we waiting for?”
“We should definitely reach out to them and see if they’re in the mood for a fiesta!”
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
“We’ll see what we can do!”
From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
Today was one of those days that could go by without ever getting out of bed. Well, that could basically be any day during the summer. Especially today for some reason. Today was the day that Dawson Ingram and Daniela Cardis were going to get married, and the Ingram’s had to have gotten ready for the wedding yesterday.
So, of course, everyone would be in a rush this morning.
It was ten o’clock in the morning, and David and Brody Ingram were the only boys still sleeping. Toby Ingram was doing what he would normally do on a morning: play video games after breakfast. Mr. and Mrs. Ingram were most likely sitting at the dining room table conversing about what today was going to bring.
Too bad Brett Ingram wasn’t here to pull a wake-up prank on the two sleepyheads. He was at his place with his friends.
It had to be their mom who would have to give them the wake-up call. After realizing how late it already was, she walked up to the boys’ room and noticed that the ceiling fan was on full blast. She also saw David, who was lying on his back with his arms wrapped over a pillow, which happened to be over his face. His comforter, as always on a nice summer morning, was thrown to the side. She watched his chest rise and fall with his breathing, and his shirt was pulled up to just below his belly button.
Then, she saw Brody, who was sleeping on his stomach. He was wrapped in his comforter, probably because the fan was directly above him, and he must have gotten a little cold last night. His face was buried in a pillow, and his arms were wrapped around his body pillow (which he needs because he is mostly a stomach sleeper).
Even though the two boys looked very calm when sleeping, they needed to wake up. Now.
“Wake up, boys,” Mrs. Ingram said to David and Brody, who were obviously still sleeping.
“Do we have to?” Brody mumbled in his sleep. He was still sleeping comfortably on his stomach with his arms wrapped around a body pillow.
“You should start waking up soon. We have to be at the church at one o’clock. It’s already ten.”
“Brody,” their mom said, sounding relatively cross. “Today is Dawson’s wedding.”
“It is?” Brody replied, still as sleepily.
“Yes, it is. Would you and David like another thirty minutes?”
Brody nodded in his pillow.
“Okay. But you guys have to be awake by then.”
Mrs. Ingram returned to the dining room to be with her husband. Toby was still playing video games with Felicia sitting by his side. Honeybunny was probably somewhere in the kitchen eating cat food. Felicia got up and moved onto Toby’s lap, causing him to quit everything he was doing and pet the cat.
Of course, to some, cats come before video games.
“They’re not waking up yet?” Mr. Ingram asked his wife, once she returned to the dining room table. Felicia then ran off to be with Honeybunny.
“Nope. You know how they are,” Mrs. Ingram replied.
“Yes, I know how they are. David and Brody have always been that way, though.”
“I know. We’ve got two cute boys who can’t seem to have the motivation to wake up for anything.”
“All of our boys are handsome,” Mr. Ingram remarked.
“Yes, they all are. However, Dawson, Brett, and Toby are more morning people than David and Brody. When those two boys were younger, you never saw them up before noon. Ten years later, same thing,” Mrs. Ingram said.
“That’s true. They just need more sleep than the other boys.”
“I guess that’s true. I just find it hilarious that it probably won’t ever change.”
Twenty-five minutes later, Mrs. Ingram got up from her chair in the dining room, and she walked back up to the boys’ room. She was expecting that David and Brody would still be sleeping soundly, and that they would be even less willing to wake up if anyone pulled a prank on them. But, because their mom isn’t nearly as rough around the edges as Brett, she was going to wake them up gently.
“Wake up, sleepyhead,” Mrs. Ingram said to David, who was still sleeping soundly.
“No,” David said in his pillow.
“Well, your thirty minutes are up.”
“Are they really?”
“Yes, I gave you an extra half hour,” their mom said.
“No, you didn’t,” David remarked sleepily.
“I actually did. I guess you didn’t hear me when I was trying to wake you guys up?”
“Well, today is Dawson’s wedding.”
David wasn’t nearly as irritable as their mom would have thought. He wasn’t in a bad mood, but he wasn’t in an amazing mood either. David was excited about his brother getting married today, but why couldn’t everything be pushed back a few hours? Ah well. He’d get through this day pretty easily, or so he would think. Time to get ready for the day.
From Rockybado: Robot King of the Island
It was eleven o'clock at night when the boys were dropped off at their houses. They were all tired and sad that they had to leave their new best friends, Rockybado, Jeremy, Johnny, and everyone else whom they had just met.
When the Ingram's came home, their parents were already asleep. The boys quietly put on their pajamas and went to bed. The boys slept peacefully until the sun rose in the sky.
Ten o’clock the next morning arrived quickly, and David and Brody were still sleeping. David woke up now, but Brody was still sleeping soundly. Dawson, their oldest brother, went upstairs to check on him, only to find that the only thing his younger brother did was stir.
Brody was sleeping on his side. Completely mindless of everything going on around him. His eyes were closed. His chest was rising and falling steadily. His mouth was half open. His mood bracelet turned a dark blue, meaning he was calm. Their white cat, Honeybunny, and their white and grey-spotted cat, Felicia, climbed onto his bed and lay on top of him.
And Brody was snoring quietly.
It was thirty minutes later, the boy was still sleeping. He couldn’t help it since his sleep schedule was more messed up than it had been before the expedition to Texamilio. When Toby snuck into his older brother’s room, he brought with him a squirt gun. This ten-year-old was thinking about squirting Brody to the moon.
“TOBY!” was the first thing that came out of Brody’s mouth.
Toby did nothing else but smile menacingly. He was really going to get it, wasn’t he? Toby was cruisin’ for a bruisin’. It was obvious that Brody was really not happy. His peaceful sleep had been interrupted by his younger brother. And Toby was sure going to get it some time. Probably now. Brody chased Toby around the house until they both grew winded.
“You are such a nuisance,” Brody said to Toby once they both caught their breaths.
“I just wanted to wake you up. That’s all,” Toby answered.
“Well, you should have let me sleep in a little longer. My sleep schedule is destroyed.”
“You can’t say that,” Toby said.
“Why not?” Brody asked.
“Weren’t we only in Texamilio for about a week?”
“Good point, but I’m still tired.”
Toby and Brody said nothing for a few minutes. They stood in the common area, with their arms crossed. The boys were thinking about what today would entail. Tonight, David and Brody wanted to have their friends over for a sleepover party at their house.
It was now five o’clock in the afternoon, and Andrew, Adam, and John Garfield were at the Ingram's house. Dawson and Brett went to Merrillville to go bowling and have pizza with their friends.
"Hey, David?" John asked later.
"Yeah?" David asked.
"Did you meet Rockybado?"
"That's why we went to Texamilio."
"So, did you keep a photo of him?"
"We forgot the camera," Brody answered for David.
"So, who is this Rockybado?" John questioned.
"He's a robot who lives in Texamilio, an island just west of Hawaii," Andrew said.
"How could you get to Hawaii and back in all but a little less than a week?!" John asked, surprised.
"In his spaceship," said Toby.
"How could you go all the way there in such little time?"
“That has yet to be determined,” said Andrew.
The Ingram’s ordered Chinese take-out for the kids while they watched a Sci-Fi movie. They then played board games. After that, they just felt like talking amongst themselves. It was nice being able to catch up with their old friends.
"Adam?" John asked.
"What?" Adam answered.
"How did you fly back to Crown Point when you got home?"
“We didn't actually do that, either. We went into Rockybado's spaceship."
"What does Texamilio look like?"
"Well, kind of like Crown Point," Andrew answered.
"Not a chance! Texamilio must be a lush island that resembles Hawaii in many ways, since they’re so close.”
"Go see for yourself," said Brody. "It is full of grass, water, blue sky, streets, houses, cities. You know, all that kind of stuff."
The boys talked some more until they went to bed. The boys put on their pajamas and then fell asleep. Everyone was sleeping peacefully until Brody woke up. He couldn't fall back asleep. He went to the kitchen to get a drink of milk. On accident, as Brody tried to pour the milk into a glass, he dropped the glass, and it broke. The boys, of course, woke up to the sound of breaking glass.
"What was that?" David asked once he woke up abruptly.
They all tiptoed into the kitchen and saw a huge mess on the floor. There was a huge puddle of milk, and it was obvious that the glass was broken. Several big pieces and some small pieces on the floor. Splendid.
Brody gave everyone a blank stare after they all shouted his name. He was speechless. David, Toby, Andrew, Adam, and John kept staring at him. Brody suddenly grew embarrassed as he couldn’t help but freeze where he was. It didn’t help matters that everyone else also looked at him blankly. The room was filled with silence, like a milkshake filling a cup.
What just happened here? At about two o’clock in the morning?
“You spilled milk all over the floor, and you broke your favorite glass,” David said.
“Oh, darn,” Brody answered in a seemingly nonchalant manner.
“It was your favorite glass. It had robots and aliens all over it,” John replied.
“Oh well. I got that glass from a fast food joint when I was four.”
“There’s another one that you like, which should still be in your cupboard.”
“That’s my second favorite glass.”
“Can we help clean up the mess and then go back to bed? My sleep schedule is ruined,” Andrew questioned somewhat seriously, whereas everyone else took that as a joke.
“No! We’re all up. We should play some video games,” Adam replied.
“Good idea,” Brody answered.
The boys were nice enough to help Brody clean up the mess that he made. Then, Brody got another glass of milk in his second favorite glass. He met the boys back in the basement, where they all returned when Brody was getting himself another glass of milk. All of the boys were setting up the game consoles so that they could pull an all-nighter and play their favorite video games.
“We’re pulling an all-nighter,” David announced.
“Wait. What time is it?” Adam questioned.
“Only two o’clock.”
“We have a lot of time on our hands. So we can play as many video games as we want!” Andrew exclaimed.
“What are we playing?” Brody asked.
The boys looked at each other. They hadn’t quite thought about what they wanted to play. They only thought about the fact that they were going to play video games. It was good that Brody had brought up what they were going to play, so that they could have some idea of what console needed to be plugged into the TV.
Everyone looked through the games that the Ingram’s have, and they couldn’t quite make up their minds about what they had in mind. Car racing games. Epic maze games. Battle games. Classic games. The possibilities were endless. The boys had to make up their minds in a “short” amount of time, or otherwise they would have almost no time to play video games.
They would be way too sleepy.
“Is everyone in the mood for playing car racing games?” Toby asked.
Everyone actually nodded or agreed otherwise. It was two o’clock in the morning, and they had about three and a half hours of sleep. They were now all wide awake, and they wanted some soda to keep it that way. David and Adam walked into the garage to get a whole case of grape soda, so the boys could have their sugar fix. When the two boys came back downstairs from their expedition in the garage, Brody, Andrew, John, and Toby were already playing some games.
Once everyone started drinking grape soda, a sense of hype emanated through the entire basement like a breeze. And everyone knew it. They were going to be so wound up tonight, since they had sugar rushing through their systems. All of the boys were shouting loudly while trying to beat each other at the car racing game on the relatively old console.
After a while, David and John stepped away from everyone else and decided to catch up. It has been about a week since they have seen each other, and John had moved to Valparaiso from Crown Point when school had just gotten out for the much-needed summer.
“So, how was the move to Valpo?” David asked.
“Very exhausting!” John answered.
“Where exactly do you live now?”
“We live on Jefferson Street.”
“We used to live on the exact same street.”
“And then we lived on Coolwood Drive before we moved to Crown Point.”
“Oh, so the way south side.”
“Definitely. I loved it there, but I love it here more. So, why did you move?” David had to ask.
“My mom’s job has always been in Valpo, and the commute on Highway 30 was very hard in the winter. It wasn’t bad, but sometimes, the roads were not at their finest. So, we thought it would be easier to live in town,” John answered.
“Do you like it so far?”
“I love it.”
“I have a friend who lives only a few blocks away from you.”
“It’s a very small world, isn’t it?”
“It’s a very small world. However, he lives a little west of your house.”
After talking for a few more minutes, David and John eventually came back down into the basement to be with everybody else. The boys were still playing the same car racing game for the next five and a half hours. This game never got old. They could not help but try to win at least one round in the game. Toby was sprawled out on the recliner like a cat on a bed. Now, it was David, Brody, Andrew, Adam, and John who were still playing video games.
At the end of three and a half hours of continuous gaming….
“What time is it, John?” Andrew questioned.
“It is now 5:30 in the morning,” John answered as he looked at his wristwatch.
“Should we call it a night?”
“We should call it a night,” David answered for John. “I’m beyond exhausted.”
“Do we have anything tomorrow?” Brody asked.
“Thank God, no.”
“Yeah, but Mom and Dad are going to wonder what we’ve been up to all night.”
“Well, we’re growing boys. We need our sleep,” Andrew chimed in.
At 5:31 in the morning, the boys just now got ready for bed. Well, Toby fell asleep at four in the morning. He was so sound asleep that he couldn’t hear any noises made by the other boys. David, Brody, Andrew, Adam, and John finished their last car race, and then they returned to their sleeping bags.
All of the boys were trying to go back to sleep. It was, of course, very hard at first. They were all wound up after their exciting car races. But the truth was, they had to go back to bed now. It was so early in the morning, and Mr. and Mrs. Ingram would most likely wonder what the boys were up to all night long. Their first assumption would be that the boys played video games until the wee hours of the morning.
Toby, of course, fell asleep at four this morning. After all the boys tried going back to sleep, John was the first boy to actually do so at 5:42. Then, Brody fell asleep at 5:48. Andrew then fell asleep at 5:56. David fell asleep at six o’clock in the morning. And Adam was the last boy to legitimately fall asleep at 6:05.
At 6:30 in the morning, Dawson and Brett went downstairs to see what the boys were up to. All of the young boys in the basement were sleeping soundly by now. It was evident that David and Brody both forgot that they were doing something today, and it was going to be very exciting. If they had remembered, they probably would not have insisted on pulling an all-nighter. As a matter of fact, they would probably have been awake by now. No matter how much sleep the boys would have had, they would still be excited about what they were going to do. It was just all a matter of remembering what it was.
“Goo monin, sleepyhead,” Brett said to David.
“What do you want?” David answered feebly after slowly waking up.
“It’s now 6:30! We are going to the amusement park at around ten o’clock, and John and his family are also coming with us.”
“That’s nice. Just let us sleep.”
“How long have you been up?” Dawson questioned.
“We went to bed literally thirty minutes ago,” David answered feebly.
“Well, you guys can sleep for a couple more hours.”
“Yeah. That’s what we’re doing right now.”
From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
It was about 10:30 in the morning, and Levi was planning to go to Chicago with Mackenzie and her dad. They had a list of things that they had wanted to do, and Levi was very excited about this opportunity to be with them when walking around Chicago.
Mackenzie’s three brothers, Brent, Jesse, and Andrew, and their mom went to downtown Valparaiso to visit the kids’ cousins. Mackenzie and their dad already had plans to explore downtown Chicago, and they were going to have a great day.
It was now about 10:50 in the morning, ten minutes before they were leaving for Chicago, and Levi had told Mackenzie that he would be over at her house at around this time. However, when Levi did not show up, Mackenzie tried calling him several times. After at least six failed tries, the phone calls always went straight to Levi’s voicemail.
“Snap,” she said after she hung up the phone.
“Is he not answering?” her dad questioned.
“No. And it’s 11:02!”
“He could just be running late.”
“He said he would come.”
“Just relax, sweetie.”
“Levi is usually on time when it comes to things like these, and I know we need to leave soon.”
“Isn’t he a late sleeper?”
Mackenzie didn’t say anything for a few moments. She could not remember whether Levi loved sleeping in late or not. Today, it seems that a lot of teenagers love to sleep in late. And Levi was probably one of them. It was evident that Levi’s love for sleeping in had yet to cross her mind.
“Oh my God. That’s probably what he’s doing.”
She started crying. Mackenzie was really looking forward to having her boyfriend come with them to Chicago. She would not have minded so much the fact that she and her dad were going on a day trip there, but she did not like the fact that Levi just didn’t call her. Mackenzie hung her head down and cried even harder. Her dad walked over to her and tried to make things a bit easier.
Meanwhile, Levi was still sleeping. He was in the clothes he wore yesterday. He forgot to put his ankle brace on; he was so tired from a busy and fun day.
It was now 11:06, and his mom came upstairs to check on him. She gently shook his arm so that she could at least try to get him to wake up. After about five minutes, the boy woke up very slowly. When he finally sat up on his bed, he could barely open his eyes. He brought his knees up to his face, and his head was on them. His arms were wrapped around his knees. Levi was trying to wake himself up by taking in a few deep breaths and exhaling slowly.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” she said.
“Hello,” Levi quietly answered once he was more awake.
“Did you remember that you were going to Chicago with Mackenzie today?”
“They already left.”
“They were going to leave around 11.”
“What time is it now?”
Levi quickly got out of bed and ran toward the kitchen. His heart was pounding so hard to the point that it could actually burst inside him. His stomach hurt to the point that there may, in fact, have been butterflies flying around in there. And his palms were sweaty from just being woken up, as well as being very upset about the whole situation. His phone was on the counter, next to some breakfast cereal, and he quickly dialed his girlfriend’s number in a matter of heartbeats.
After a few rings….
“Hey, you finally decided to call,” Mackenzie answered.
“Yeah. I’m really sorry,” Levi said.
“What were you doing all this time?”
“I literally just woke up.”
“I saw that you called six times.”
“I sure did.”
“I’m a heavy sleeper.”
“I’m sorry about today. I really didn’t mean to pull what I did,” Levi apologized.
“It’s fine. We’ll just have to plan something else, I guess,” Mackenzie replied.
“I know. I really have to make this up to you.”
“Okay. What do you want to do?”
“Question is….what do you want to do?”
“Well, I’m partial to just playing video games.”
“I’m cool with that.”
“That should work.”
“Alright. See you then.”
Levi sat at the kitchen table feeling very bad about what he had done. Yet, he also thought it was pretty hilarious. Evelyn Maeve found her older brother and skipped in his general direction. She had her butterfly wings attached to her, and she was wearing a halo made out of garland from a previous Christmas pageant that her friend wanted her to be a part of, since she was also in it.
Apparently, Evelyn Maeve’s intention was to be a fairy today.
“Herro,” she said gleefully.
“Herro,” Levi answered back.
“Are you supposed to be somewhere?”
“I was supposed to be in Chicago with my girlfriend.”
“And I overslept, so I’m here.”
Levi went back up into his bedroom to put on some everyday clothes, and then he came back down to eat some leftover mostaccioli from the night before. He and Evelyn Maeve watched some cartoons for an hour. Soon after the next show was coming on, their mom found them on the couch. She was finished with some work that she had to do for her job. Victoria and Olivia were at their half-sister’s house; they visited Louise, who was not feeling very well today.
“What doing, peeps?” she asked.
“Watching TV,” Levi answered.
“Watching TV,” Evelyn Maeve repeated softly.
“Want to do Mexican food for lunch?” their mom asked.
Levi’s and Evelyn Maeve’s mouths dropped. They ran to the closet by the door and hurriedly put on their shoes. Then, the three went to the nearest Mexican restaurant to eat….Mexican food.
Not Chinese food.
An hour and a half later, once they came home from their outing, Levi received a phone call from Jack. He missed the call at first because he basically did not hear his phone go off. Once he found out that Jack had tried to call him, he decided the best thing to do would be to call his best friend back.
After dialing Jack’s number and a few rings….
“Herro, Sir Levi,” Jack answered his phone.
“Hey. What’s up?” Levi answered.
“Hey. I tried calling’ you, but you no get my call.”
“Very funny, sir.”
“Well….how was your….date?”
“You want to know the truth, don’t you?”
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
“What?! What is that supposed to mean?” Jack questioned his best friend.
“I overslept. We were going to Chicago at 11, but I woke up at 11. So, we’re playing video games instead,” Levi replied.
“You should make a cake. Simple as that.”
“I never thought about that.”
“Well. Now, I want you to meet two new amazing people who may join our posse.”
“Great. Who are they?”
“Benny Wickford and Nathaniel Linden. I made up some sweet names for them!”
“Benny is Benny Bear. Nathaniel is Lindy,” Jack explained.
“I like Lindy!” Levi exclaimed.
“I know! Well, come over to the tree house in fifteen minutes….if you can.”
“It’s on the ground.”
“Right. It is a house made out of a tree.”
Levi got ready to go over to Jack’s house. He was actually going to meet two new friends today, who were most likely tennis nerds, just like the whole posse. He ran upstairs to get his sandals, since he has always put them somewhere in his bedroom. Levi was fine when he put his flip-flops on. But, when he ran downstairs, he tripped on one of the stairs and fell the rest of the way down.
“WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
It was obvious that Levi somehow found a little bit of fun in falling down the stairs. His mom, however, heard the loud noise from the kitchen, where she was sitting. She was far from entertained. As a matter of fact, her post-traumatic stress disorder was definitely kicking in.
“LEVI! ARE YOU OKAY?!” she shouted.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just fell down the stairs.”
“You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?”
“No. It was actually quite fun. Jack wanted me to go over to his house made out of a tree.”
Mrs. Cranston then drove her son to Jack’s house, which is literally five minutes away from their house. Only he doesn’t live in downtown Valparaiso. He lives on Shamrock Lane, which is on the west side. Once Levi and his mom exchanged their casual “I love you’s,” Levi went up to the house to meet up with his best friend, and then Mrs. Cranston and Evelyn Maeve were going grocery shopping. Victoria and Olivia were planning to come home in thirty minutes, as was their dad.
From The Magic Video Game
The night flew like the breeze. That was how amazing it was. However, the next morning was bound to not be as pleasant and fun. The relatives left at around two o’clock in the morning, and, of course, everyone was still up after that. No one went to bed before three o’clock.
It was now eleven o’clock in the morning, and Levi was not up yet. Everyone else woke up two hours prior. Elizabeth’s wedding was today; it started at two o’clock, and the party was at four o’clock, two hours before mass would start. Levi needed to wake up as soon as possible, so that the family could get ready for the wedding.
Levi’s dad opened the door to Levi’s bedroom. His dad saw him sleeping on his side, with about half of his comforter on the floor. Levi’s breathing was steady, and his mouth was half open. His dad didn’t really want to disturb Levi’s peaceful state of mind today, but he knew they had to leave for the wedding soon.
Levi stirred. He didn’t just stir; he really moved around on his bed. Instead of sleeping on his side like he did, he unconsciously moved himself so that his head was at the foot of the bed, and his feet were on top of his pillows. Five minutes later, his dad decided it was time to wake him up.
“Hello, earthling!” his dad shouted.
Levi lifted his head from underneath his comforter, and his eyes were shut. He could both hear and feel his heart beating rapidly against his chest, and he took a deep breath. He was lying on his stomach, and he then decided to put his head back down. Levi really did not want to get up, much less open his eyes. He pulled his comforter over him and tried going back to sleep.
“Wakie, wakie, eggs and bakie,” his dad said.
“Shut up,” Levi answered quietly.
“Would you like some eggs and bakie, sir?” his dad spoke in a British accent.
“I don’t want any eggs and bakie,” Levi softly replied in a British accent.
“Then, what would you like for brunch?”
“I don’t care. I just want to go back to sleep.”
“Well, you need to wake up soon.”
“Now is the most ideal time to wake up.”
That wasn’t enough coaxing for Levi to wake up, though. He fought to go back to sleep. As a matter of fact, he would not have minded if he slept the day away. However, he couldn’t today since he had to be at the wedding for his half-sister. Two minutes later, and his dad was still in the room. Levi had to make a decision to wake up now.
“Alright! I’ll get up.”
Levi stormed out of his bedroom into the bathroom so he could get a good look at himself. He felt as if he could take out someone today since he was abruptly woken up by another person. Non-morning people usually feel this way every morning. He was pretty mad at the moment.
He rinsed his toothbrush under the faucet and saw his reflection in the mirror. He looked like he could have been mugged by someone. His eyes were half-open. His hair was all messed up. His whole face was red.
Levi put the toothpaste on his toothbrush. He then applied it to his mouth. He could taste the minty flavor against his tongue. But he did not take his eyes off his reflection in the mirror. He finally opened his eyes all the way. After he was done brushing his teeth, he combed his hair. Once he finished, he looked at his chest in the mirror, since he was shirtless. He drew in a very deep breath, and he could see his heart pounding against his skin when he held his breath for a few seconds. It was very creepy, but cool at the same time.
It was very hard to get himself relaxed after just waking up. However, he has been able to do it before. He took a flashlight out of the cabinet and pointed it at his opened mouth. He could see the back of his throat, and the result of what the surgeons took out. He could also see a small pale scar just above where his tonsils used to be; the scar was from an accidental cut that one of the surgeons had made when performing the surgery.
Levi then heard a knock on the door. He went over and opened it. He was just standing in front of the mirror anyway, minding his own business.
It was Evelyn Maeve.
“Boo!” Evelyn Maeve almost screamed.
Levi didn’t react. He just shook his head and laughed to himself. Evelyn Maeve walked up to Levi and hugged him.
“Hi, big bwuther.”
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to wake up.”
Levi then bent over with his elbows on the sink. He had his head in his hands, and he started taking deep breaths. His little sister rubbed his back for him. She started getting very nervous because she was not sure if he was having another one of his asthma attacks. Evelyn Maeve was considering getting their parents and having them check on Levi.
He then started breathing normally again. He looked down and saw the little “blob” pulsing strongly against his chest. Levi was still a little creeped out by this, but he figured it was just because it was morning, and he was trying his hardest to become fully awake. He sat on the edge of the bathtub with his fingers under his arm, and the palm of his hand on the left side of his chest. Evelyn Maeve decided to sit beside him and make sure he was truly waking up. She wrapped her little arm around his shoulder and rested her head against it.
“Are you okay, Levi?”
“I thought you were having asthma.”
“I do have asthma. It isn’t acting up.”
“Are you excited about the wedding?”
“Yes and no. I’m a little nervous about this one.”
“Last wedding we went to was our cousin Lori’s, and I was twelve or so. I had a horrible cold, but I still showed up. I fell asleep during the wedding ceremony, but I was fine for a while at the reception. I was playing card games with my other cousins, and then Lori wanted me to dance with her, so I did. After a while, I started getting sick to my stomach again. And then, I spent the rest of the time in the bathroom throwing up.”
“That must have been bad.”
“I don’t want to have my asthma suddenly act up.”
“Is it that bad?”
“It’s not severe, but it’s a little more serious than mild asthma, so I need to be a little more careful.”
Levi then left the bathroom and went back into his bedroom to put on his everyday clothes. He thought he didn’t need to dress up right now since he still had about three and a half hours. Evelyn Maeve was standing outside the door when he came out.
“Is that what you’re wearing to the wedding?” Evelyn Maeve asked.
“Yes,” Levi replied sarcastically.
Levi had on plaid shorts, a green t-shirt, and he was barefoot. He walked downstairs with his little sister who wore her white dress. It was pretty evident that she was ecstatic about the wedding. She continued to dance, twirl, and skip around the house in her dress.
“Levi, you need to put on your outfit,” his mom said.
Levi went back upstairs and changed into what he was going to wear for the wedding. Then, they grabbed some fast food on the way to the venue. While Levi was on his first of two chicken sandwiches, his phone rang. When he looked at the caller ID, he saw that it was his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, trying to call him. He then answered his phone.
“Not much. Just chillin’ at home. What are you up to?”
“Did you want to get together today?”
“I was hoping.”
“I have my sister’s wedding today, so I won’t be able to do anything until tomorrow.”
“Oh. I can’t do anything tomorrow because I have my family reunion.”
“Oh. I dunno.”
“It’s been too long!”
“I know! I’m so nervous about the wedding.”
“You’ll be fine. I guarantee it.”
“Just trust me.”
Levi and Mackenzie were on the phone for another few minutes, and then Levi had to hang up. They were at least another twenty-five minutes away from a synagogue in Munster, and then the reception was going to take place in Merrillville. Everyone in the whole car was silent because they had their mind on the wedding, among other things.
Levi decided to look out the window. Evelyn Maeve wrapped her arms around his left arm, and she tried getting his attention by blowing in his ear. Levi gently elbowed her and let out a heavy sigh. Nervousness struck him hard. Levi basically didn’t want to pass out in front of anyone, at the ceremony or at the banquet.
“What are you looking forward to the most?” Mr. Cranston asked, breaking the silence.
“Oh, at the wedding?” Victoria asked.
“I’m looking forward to the reception.”
“I’m basically looking forward to the food,” Olivia joked.
“And I want to dance,” Evelyn Maeve responded.
“Lisa? Levi? What about you guys?” Mr. Cranston questioned his wife and son.
“I can’t wait to see my daughter join Paul in marriage,” Mrs. LeVole answered.
A few moments later.
“Oh. I’m just hoping that I don’t spend my time in the bathroom throwing up like I did the last time,” Levi replied.
Laughter emanated through the car.
“You won’t,” said their dad.
And, after about thirty minutes, the Cranston’s were finally at the synagogue. Once they got out of their car, Elizabeth saw them, walked quickly toward them, and greeted them.
Here goes nothing.
From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
It was David’s senior year in high school, and Brody’s junior year. They were both on the tennis team, and so was Adam Levistad. With this in mind, it was right in the middle of tennis season, and the boys’ tennis team had a tournament today. This was the fourth tournament in this season, and the boys were excited about hopefully doing well today.
Except for Brody.
David’s younger brother had been sick for a little over a week, causing him to miss this past Tuesday and Wednesday and come back to school on Thursday. Because Brody didn’t miss school on Friday, he was allowed to participate in today’s tennis tournament. However, what he thought he had did not just go away. As a matter of fact, he started feeling worse after he woke up this morning.
“Wake up, Brody,” Mrs. Ingram said as she came into the room to wake up Brody.
Thank goodness Brett was not at home at the time. He was at a university on the north side of Indianapolis. Because Brett was not at home, this meant that Brody did not have to deal with any pranks whatsoever.
“Do I have to get up?” Brody asked sleepily.
“Do you want to play tennis today?” Mrs. Ingram asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Aren’t you feeling better?”
“No, I’m not,” Brody replied even more sleepily.
“Well, what should I do?” Mrs. Ingram asked.
“I want to play, but I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
“Oh no. Let me check your temperature.”
Mrs. Ingram ran out of the bedroom and got the thermometer in the hall closet. When she returned with it, she noticed Brody lying on his back on the futon with his hands behind his head. To her, this might not have been a good sign. Mrs. Ingram gave Brody the thermometer to put under his tongue. After a minute or two of waiting, it was time to see the results.
“Would you like to know if you have a fever or not?” Mrs. Ingram asked her son.
“Sure. Go ahead and tell me,” Brody answered.
“So, I don’t have a fever?”
“No. It’s about what it’s supposed to be,” Mrs. Ingram replied.
“I think I’ll try practicing and see how I am after that,” Brody remarked.
“Sounds like a plan. If you’re at the point where you feel really sick, let me know.”
“Now, I’ll need to take you, David, and Adam to practice today since Adam’s mom is at the hospital visiting her friend who just had a baby.”
Brody slowly got out of bed. He was still feeling nauseous, but he thought that it would be a good idea to at least show up to practice and see how he felt during the day. He put on some clothes and tried to make himself look at least a little presentable. Five minutes later, Brody threw up, but he thought he was going to feel better throughout the day.
He sat inside the bathroom for about ten minutes because he wanted to be close to the heater. Also, Brody was waiting to feel a little better so that he could still play today. He then came downstairs and ate a few saltine crackers, but he didn’t feel like eating much else. Brody did not talk to anyone at the table; he was only hoping that he wouldn’t throw up again today.
“You’re really not feeling well at all today, are you?” Mr. Ingram asked his fourth son.
Brody slowly shook his head.
“Should he stay home today, Marsha?”
“We both agreed that he would call me if he gets really sick,” Mrs. Ingram answered her husband.
“Whatever you say. He does not look well to me.”
“I seriously think he should stay home,” Mr. Ingram remarked in his somewhat thick British accent.
“This has happened to him before, and he was able to pull through,” Mrs. Ingram said.
“I’ll be fine,” Brody finally stated.
“You sure, hon?”
“I think so.”
“If you say so.”
David was feeling fine; he actually wasn’t sick at all this week. And neither was anyone else. For some very odd reason, Brody was the only one in the family who had actually gotten sick. And he was really sick this time around. Of course, Mr. Ingram wasn’t sure if Brody would be able to make it through practice. And Mrs. Ingram believed that he could get better throughout the day.
Let’s see how today goes.
Mrs. Ingram picked up Adam from his house, since he doesn’t live too far away from the Ingram’s house on Garfield Court. Adam and David, of course, started talking. Brody, however, did not feel like conversing with anyone. He just stared out the window and hoped to the Good Man that this would all pass.
Fifteen minutes later, due to random and unnecessary traffic, David, Brody, and Adam were at the high school, ready to play tennis. The two older boys walked over to some fellow tennis players and started conversing with them. Brody, on the other hand, did not talk to anyone, since he was not feeling well at all.
Normally, he would be talking a mile a minute with everyone on the tennis team. But, at the moment, Brody’s stomach hurt, and he didn’t know why he was at the high school today.
Brody decided that he should at least try to practice with the team. The practice time seemed like a complete blur, as in the fact that it had gone by so quickly. But, at the same time, it seemed like forever that Brody’s match was going to end. He played against one of his teammates for about an hour.
When he just finished his practice match with one of his teammates, Colin Nichols, Brody started feeling sick again. He was afraid to run to the bathroom because he didn’t want to risk throwing up in front of the Good Man and everyone else. Instead, he slowly walked to the school and headed toward the men's bathroom.
There was no one in the men’s bathroom, so Brody made himself as comfortable as possible. He entered a stall, closed the door behind him, and sat on the floor. Brody really did not want to throw up, but he didn’t think that he had any choice whatsoever. For fifteen long minutes, he just sat there thinking about everything, but nothing at the same time. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to get sick today, but he also didn’t want to get any sicker than he already was.
Brody started throwing up all of a sudden.
Between bouts that lasted about two minutes, he rested his head in his arms, which lay comfortably on top of the seat. Brody thought that it would be good for him to come home, but he didn’t want to miss this tournament. Since he loves to play tennis so much, and missing one tournament could mean the end of the world.
Well, not really.
A few minutes later, during a bout of throwing up, two football players came into the men's bathroom. The first thing that they heard was the sound of Brody throwing up. The two football players, named Javon Peterson and DeShaun Golding, wanted to help the poor guy out, but at first they weren’t quite sure who was in the closed stall “worshipping the porcelain idol.”
But then they knew.
“Brody?” Javon called the boy’s name.
“Hello?” Brody replied quietly.
“You okay in there?”
“No. I’m puking my guts out, and I feel like I’m going to die.”
“Oh dude. Would you like us to get you something? Like a drink or something?” Javon offered.
“Can you get a drink from a vending machine? I don’t care what it is,” Brody replied, even more quietly than before.
“And how did you know it was me in the stall?”
“Your hoodie’s on the floor, and it says B. Ingram on it.”
“I have some money that I could give you.”
“Don’t worry, bro. It’s on us.”
Then, Javon and DeShaun ran out of the bathroom toward the cafeteria, where the vending machines were. Brody heard the two football players making crazy high-pitched noises as they were running toward the cafeteria. After laughing to himself for a few seconds, he was hoping that this would all be over as soon as possible.
Of course, Brody threw up again.
Javon and DeShaun were running as fast as they could to the vending machine, they continued to make crazy high-pitched noises. In the cafeteria, there was another group sitting at the tables, listening “intently” to the advisors as they were describing to their group what to expect when out and about. Apparently, the group was leaving campus as well.
“WE HAVE A SICK DUDE TO TAKE CARE OF!” Javon shouted as loudly as he could.
“WOOOOOOOOOO!” DeShaun shouted louder than Javon.
The group, of course, stopped everything they were doing and gave the two football players weird looks. There must have been some understanding that Javon and DeShaun had good intentions, but why did they have to announce their intentions to the whole world? What were the advisors of the one group going to do?
Javon and DeShaun chose a light soda from the vending machine for Brody, and then they returned to the bathroom where Brody was most likely still throwing up.
“Sup, Brody?” DeShaun said after they came back.
“Sup,” Brody answered.
“Here’s your drink. Hope you like light soda.”
“Are you still gonna stay out of tennis today?” DeShaun asked.
“Probably,” Brody replied. “I already called my mom, and she’s picking me up.”
“I know. I was looking forward to tonight.”
“I hope there are more tourneys.”
“There are. I really wanted to play in this one.”
Brody didn’t feel as if he could play tennis, given the circumstances. He had already arranged for his mom to pick him up from the high school within fifteen minutes. While waiting for her, Brody stayed in the bathroom and sipped on his soda. Once his mom let him know that she had arrived, he left the bathroom and headed out of the school toward the car. After Brody and his mom would arrive home, Brody was probably going to sleep for as long as possible.
A couple hours later, David and Adam left with the rest of the tennis team for the tournament. Everyone had to have felt bad for Brody because he couldn’t participate today. While some team members formed their own conversation groups and talked about random subjects, David and Adam listened to David’s music and conversed amongst themselves.
“Sucks about Brody,” Adam said to David.
“I know. We all thought that he was getting better,” David remarked.
“Didn’t he miss a couple days of school last week?”
“Tuesday and Wednesday.”
“What was he sick with?” Adam asked.
“He had a cold, but now I guess it’s the flu,” David answered.
“Sounds like it.”
“He didn’t look well at all today.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“I’m amazed that he was able to pull a great match with Colin Nichols.”
“I am, too.”
The high school tennis teams were already at their destination. The boys got ready for today’s tournament, which, of course, was a complete blur. Then, it was time for the tournament, and everyone on the team had to get mentally ready for it.
An hour later, the tournament began.
April 6, 2019
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Kevin Maggliardi, and Jack Andrews were at Kevin's apartment in Cambridge, just outside of Boston, and they were watching some goofy cartoons until they were going to meet up with Asad Prejesh, Mike Wong, and Jing Hao in downtown Boston.
"So, it turns out my cousin is getting his tonsils taken out next week," Kevin remarked out of the blue.
"I am so sorry to hear that," Levi replied. Jack was in the bathroom.
"Yeah, it's gonna suck for him. He's only four and has had problems with his throat for a few months."
"Is he Rosie's older brother?"
"Yes," Kevin said with a smile. "I love her to the moon and back."
"She's the baby cousin that you keep talking about, right?" Levi clarified.
"Yep. She's the one. You need to meet her when we go to Rhode Island."
"Yes, absolutely. Did you get your tonsils out as well?"
"Yes, when I was in middle school. It wasn't terrible once I came home from the hospital. I mean, my throat hurt a lot, and I was tired all the time, but I managed."
"Yeah, for me, it was terrible because they botched the surgery. I came out fine with no throat problems after all that, but I was back to my normal self about a month later."
"That's awful. The worst part was when I was in the recovery room. I was really nauseous from the anesthesia, and when the nurse asked me if I was okay, I threw up all over myself and the nurse."
Levi and Kevin shared a laugh for a few minutes. They were still watching TV by the time Jack returned to the common area. No one else was in the apartment other than them, so it was nice having the apartment to themselves. It was a nice day for an excursion in downtown Boston, and they had all decided to get dinner somewhere tonight.
Chances were, they wouldn't feel up to sushi. Probably something Italian, since they haven't done that in a while.
"Have you heard anything from Asad and them?" Kevin asked.
"Last I heard, they were walking around campus and playing Frisbee," Jack replied. Levi's girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, tried calling him, so he had to take that call.
"That's nice. Would we want to venture out that way?"
"I'm open. Hopefully Levi comes back soon, so we can go."
"Yeah, we watched cartoons for a little over an hour now. I wanna go out," Kevin said.
"So do I," Jack remarked.
"And the weather isn't too bad. Isn't it like 3 o'clock or something?"
"Okay, so I was close."
"Yes, you were."
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