From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi had Jack, Asad, and David over for an afternoon, and they were going to play tennis later. Right now, they were just playing video games in the common area of Levi’s house. They were playing a lot of classic video games right now because of how warm it was outside. The boys were most definitely not in the mood to go outside and play tennis right now, so they obviously had to find some alternatives.
It was nice just having the three boys over at the house because all four boys could have their own video game controller. No one had to fight for a video game controller. And no one had to wait for their turn to get the video game controller.
“Yo, Levi. Where’s the cookie truffles you were telling us about?” Asad questioned Levi.
“We have some in the fridge, man,” Levi replied.
“I’mma get some for me. Who wants some?”
“I think we all do, bro.”
“What are they for anyway?” Asad asked, quite curious.
“I don’t think they were for anything,” Levi replied.
“So you just got some cookie truffles for the heck of it I guess?”
“Yo. I’mma get some.”
“Cool beans, dude.”
Asad walked over to the refrigerator to get some cookie truffles for himself and everyone else. Mostly for himself, though. Because he was in dire need of cookie truffles. Really, Mr. Cranston took the last of the cookie truffles from an event that he took part in with his band in Chicago. There were only eight left, so there was enough for everyone to have two. Unless someone else took all of the cookie truffles without Levi’s consent.
Well, really, without anyone’s consent.
Asad slowly opened the door to the refrigerator. He felt a little weird opening the door because this was the second time in all of his time of being friends with Levi that he even considered touching the refrigerator.
That was over ten years ago. Levi became friends with Asad and David very shortly after he became friends with Jack in fourth grade.
Once he opened the door to the refrigerator, Asad saw food. Lots of food. Mostly healthy food, like vegetables and some fruit. And some milk as well. But he saw no sign of the cookie truffles that he was hoping for.
“Are you looking for something?” Levi’s sister asked Asad, out of the blue.
“Oh hi, Olivia,” Asad said as he quickly recognized who was talking to him.
“Evelyn Maeve and I ate the last of the cookie truffles.”
“Oh. Whoops. We didn’t know.”
“Sorry about that, Asad,” Olivia remarked, feeling genuinely sorry for the boys.
“It okay, Olivia,” Asad replied.
“There are butter cookies in the pantry, in case you might be interested.”
“I love butter cookies!”
“Thought you did!”
“So, what are you up to, Olivia?”
“I’m actually getting ready to go bowling with my boyfriend, Cameron, and my best friend, Audrey. Evie Maeve and her good friend are also going. Do all of you wanna come?” Olivia offered.
“We’re practicing tennis soon, I believe,” Asad answered.
And Asad was more than certain that he, Jack, Levi, and David were going to practice tennis for at least two hours later today and then pig out at their favorite fast food joint of all time. Olivia was going bowling with her soon-to-be-again boyfriend, Cameron Sedley, and best friend, Audrey Bersigno. And Evelyn Maeve and her best guy friend, Randy Morrison, were coming as well.
Once they came home from work, the Cranston’s parents were going over to Louise’s house. Once they came home from whatever they had planned to do this afternoon, Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve were also going over to Louise’s house.
Meatball party tonight. It was going to be pretty great.
Asad has always had a secret crush on Olivia, even though she has had an on-and-off relationship with Cameron for a long time. And, to be honest, he still has a crush on her to some degree. However, he decided to just keep it at the friend level, unless Olivia and Cameron might eventually separate, for that would most likely not be the case at this point.
Basically, Olivia and Cameron needed some time to regroup before continuing their relationship.
“Who wants to play with the speed bag?!” David shouted from across the room. No one could remember a time when the four boys were super hyper. Well, really, they could. They just didn’t want to admit it at the moment.
“I do!” Jack shouted.
“I do!” Asad shouted.
“I don’t want a nosebleed,” Levi remarked.
“How long have you been playing with the speed bag, Levi?” David asked.
“Not all that often, actually.”
“You hate that thing, don’t you?”
“Yes and no. It’s given me a nosebleed before, but I like to play with it sometimes.”
“Oh, I see.”
“My dad wanted it up, so we have it up.”
“Does he play with it?”
All four boys thought the idea of having a random speed bag in the garage was beyond hilarious. Why did Mr. Cranston and Levi make a father-son agreement to put a speed bag in the garage when they were renovating it a long time ago? More like nine years ago when they were really trying to clean it out, but they made the garage a much more pleasant place to spend quality time.
They even put a treadmill in there.
Jack, Levi, Asad, and David decided to quit playing video games, that they had played for a little over two hours, and go outside and get some fresh air. They weren’t quite ready to play tennis yet. However, they did want to check out the renovated garage.
What would have been the garage is really a cool place to be.
There is a treadmill facing a small TV, with a huge box fan next to the treadmill but at an angle toward the treadmill. There is another box fan facing a love seat that is on the other side of the treadmill. There were even some cartoons that were hung on the walls. According to everyone who has set foot inside the garage, they have all thought of this as more of a game room than anything else.
And they were probably in their right minds when saying so.
There was the little speed bag that hung on the relatively short ceiling of the garage. Levi somehow really wanted to try playing with the speed bag. He was quite confident in himself, even though he has never really had much interest in the speed bag in general. No one else did either. They have always just liked the idea of having a speed bag attached to the ceiling.
“You still gonna take up boxing, Levi?” Jack teased his best friend.
“No way, Jose,” Levi replied.
“I personally think you’d make a great boxer.”
“Why? Why would you say that, Jack?”
“Cuz you’re….” Jack begun.
“JACK ANDREWS!” Levi interrupted.
“Dang it, Levi. You nearly stole my thunder.”
“Did I really?”
“No. Not really.”
“Whatever you say, Jack.”
Truth is, Levi really doesn’t care to take up boxing. However, he has liked the idea of a speed bag being in the garage, as does his dad. Maybe the garage would be more or less similar to a fitness room; there is a treadmill, a speed bag, and maybe a few other things. Including a love seat. That would most definitely make Levi’s summer. Another way of “training” for tennis season as a senior in college.
As several minutes passed, Levi became more familiar with the speed bag, so he started punching it harder and harder. He was basically rolling the speed bag from one side of the ceiling to the other side. As the thoughts of anything and everything random remained on his mind, his punches grew harder and harder, as well as his heartbeat and his breathing. Levi was very aggressive with the speed bag.
“LUNG!” Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
“Wait. What was that all about, man?” Asad asked.
“I just shouted something random, dude.”
“It’s a random word, Asad,” Levi remarked.
“Of all the random words we know, it had to be ‘lung,’” Asad replied.
“Yes. It had to be lung.”
“That is actually one of my favorite words. You stole it from me, Levi!”
“I thought that was my favorite word.”
“Now, it’s not.”
Oh well. It’s always a little fun to be a little random at times. No. Actually, it’s always a little fun to be a little random all the time. And it’s always a little fun to shout the most favorite random word every once in a while.
Jack tried playing with the speed bag after Levi. Asad tried playing with the speed bag after Jack. And David tried playing with the speed bag after Asad. Even though all four kids played with the speed bag for a little while, no one else other than Levi shouted a random word after they made their last hit on the speed bag.
Then, it was time for tennis. Or so everyone thought.
“Guess what, guys?” Jack said to everyone.
“What, Jack?” David asked.
“I accidentally left my tennis equipment at home.”
“What exactly do you mean by equipment?”
“I’m talking about my tennis rackets, my tennis balls, my tennis this, my tennis that,” Jack replied quite humorously.
“So, everything tennis you left at your house. On accident, I’m assuming?” David asked, just to clarify.
“Yes. Even the word, ‘tennis,’ I left at home.”
“Well, we’ll need to get the word ‘tennis’ for you before we go to the high school to practice.”
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was April 2014, so really not that long ago. Levi was home from college for the weekend, and he and Victoria had some brother-sister time at the mall in Merrillville. Since about three years ago, Levi and Victoria have gotten closer, because in summer of 2011, both kids were sick with a sinus infection for pretty much the entire summer. Levi was going into his sophomore year of college, and Victoria was not quite done with her undergraduate career, as she had one more semester to go. Really, both kids have always been pretty close, but they definitely knew each other’s similarities and differences.
Levi was hoping to find at least a couple shirts with his favorite band logos on them. He was also interested in some lights for his apartment in college, so he wanted to go to at least a few stores. Victoria was, however, more interested in the latest fashions, so she wanted to spend as much time as possible in the mall.
It was definitely a cooler day, so Levi was wearing his black athletic jacket with a white stripe down the arms, his favorite grey shirt, and jeans. Victoria was wearing her favorite skinny jeans, blue and green cami, and white cardigan, so she was most definitely trying to live up to her definition of fashion in one way or another.
It was now eight o’clock at night, and Victoria and Levi walked toward the food court to see what they could get to eat. They were hoping for something relatively quick because they wanted to finish up on their shopping. At least Victoria was hoping for that. Levi couldn’t have cared less. He was happy with what he had bought with his own money.
A couple new t-shirts from his favorite rock bands, a set of water show speakers, and a lava lamp. Since he has an obsession with lights.
And Victoria decided to spend at least $86 on new clothes and a set of water show speakers. Just because she thought they were cool. She cared a little more about expanding her wardrobe. Levi cared a little more about expanding his array of lights and adding a few more rock band shirts to his wardrobe.
The two kids got tacos from the food court.
“Want to hit up the bar once we get home?” Victoria asked, once she was done with one of two tacos.
“I thought you would never ask,” Levi answered.
“Craft beer again?”
“That’s usually what I go for.”
“I want a mai tai. That just sounds good right now,” Victoria remarked.
“I want a cider, come to think of it,” Levi said.
“You and your cider.”
“And you like to try anything and everything.”
“Yep. Something different every time.”
“That’s good, though.”
Deal. Victoria and Levi could easily drop the car off at the house and then walk down Lincolnway to see what bars they could go to. They technically live in downtown, so they could do that. Levi’s best friends, on the other hand, couldn’t do that as much. Unless they went over to Levi’s, and they’d all walk together.
Tonight was nice enough that Victoria and Levi could walk from the house on Elmhurst Avenue to a bar or two. Tonight was not nice enough to wear Hawaiian-print shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. It just wouldn’t work out. At least for now.
Once Levi and Victoria finished eating their delicious tacos, they walked around the mall a little longer. Until the mall closed at nine o’clock at night. Then, they walked outside toward Victoria’s car. They got into the car after two minutes of walking in the parking lot and headed home. Victoria turned on some rock music. Their favorite.
“When do you want to play tennis again?” Levi asked Victoria.
“The next weekend you come home?” Victoria answered.
“Works for me.”
“Yeah, I wish I played tennis more often.”
“Well, I’ll be home for the summer, so we will need to play much more often,” Levi said.
“Deal,” Victoria replied.
“Mackenzie’s been wanting to play as well.”
“We’ve been meaning to play at school, but things just….” Levi stated when he heard a loud crash.
Well, snap. The car had stopped. No one seemed to be hurt at the moment. Neither Victoria nor Levi had any idea what was going on right now. Victoria tried turning on the ignition, but the car wouldn’t start. She started crying. Levi had no idea what to do. He heard Victoria muttering cuss words under her breath, and he saw that his older sister of three years stepped out of the car to assess the damage done to it. Being curious as he was, he also stepped out to see what had happened.
Victoria started to cry harder when she saw how damaged her car was. Levi saw what exactly had happened. There was a pick-up truck that was stopped; the driver was apparently waiting for someone to back out of the parking space, and Victoria’s car had run into the back of the pick-up truck.
“Hi,” the driver acknowledged Levi’s presence, but he was clearly not happy to see him.
“Hey,” Levi responded quietly.
“Did you do this to my car?”
“No. My sister did.”
“I hope she has insurance,” the driver remarked somewhat rudely.
“She just didn’t see you,” Levi replied, trying his hardest to defend his older sister of three years.
“Yeah. Sure she didn’t.”
“What all happened to your truck?”
“Pretty good sized dent I’m sure.”
Levi had a very pleasant conversation with the driver of the pick-up truck. Victoria didn’t want to see the damage done to her car. She had tried turning her car back on with absolutely no success. She called their mom.
“Hello?” their mom answered.
“We were in a car accident,” Victoria tried saying through her tears.
“We were in a car accident.”
“I can’t understand you. You’re not coming in clearly,” their mom remarked, starting to get worried.
“I ran into a….”
“Victoria, give it to me,” Levi said plainly to his sister. Victoria handed him the phone, and she continued crying.
“Levi, what’s going on?” the kids’ mom answered.
“We were in a car accident,” Levi replied, as calmly as possible. His phone was pressed firmly against his left ear, and his right hand was tugging at the top part of his unzipped athletic jacket. The bottom part of his t-shirt was right at the button of his jeans. He pulled his t-shirt down and went back to tugging at his jacket.
“What?! Is everyone okay?!”
“Yes, we’re fine. Shaken up, but I think we’re okay.”
“Okay. Where are you?” Mrs. LeVole questioned sternly.
“In Merrillville. We just left the mall. Victoria ran into a pickup truck,” Levi remarked. He could feel his heart pounding very hard in his chest. Even though he was just as shaken up as Victoria, he was somehow able to stay calm on the outside.
“Oh dear. How bad was the damage?”
“Okay. We’ll get there as soon as we can.”
“Ah! We’ll see you then.”
Levi hung up after another minute of talking to their mom, and he handed the phone back to Victoria. The driver of the pickup truck was still not happy with what had happened, and Victoria was clearly not paying attention to where she was going. She and Levi were obviously deep in their conversation for her to not pay attention at all. Both siblings were quite shaken up, and they knew that they had to deal with the police and likely have her car towed for a little while.
The kids’ mom was on her way to the mall where the accident had occurred. The kids’ dad, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve, were at their dad’s friend’s wedding in Chicago, so they could most definitely not come out to Merrillville at this time. Louise and her family were in Oberlin, Ohio, visiting her husband’s family. And Elizabeth and her husband were in Naperville, Illinois, visiting her husband’s grandparents, who live there.
The police had come within five minutes and interrogated each party. And a witness who heard the crash when she was walking toward her car. She didn’t go up to the scene because she didn’t know what to say. She didn’t want to make the situation any worse than it was, and she didn’t want to get on anyone’s nerves, according to her thinking.
The two kids got everything that they had bought from the mall out of the car before it was towed.
“Are you guys okay?!”Mrs. LeVole, their mom, asked as she walked quickly up to her kids.
“Yes, we’re fine,” Levi answered for himself and Victoria, who was way too choked up to say anything.
“I see Vicky’s car is about to get towed.”
“The car won’t start.”
“Oh dear,” their mom responded. Victoria was sitting on a curb with her head in her arms, which were somehow resting comfortably on her knees. When Mrs. LeVole calmed down, she and Levi sat on the same curb, but a little farther away from Victoria because they knew that she needed her space at this time.
“We were talking, and I guess she wasn’t paying attention to her driving.”
“That’s happened to me before, actually. A week before our wedding.”
“I think I remember you telling us that once.”
“Back then, it was a horrible experience. Now we think it’s funny. But I’m hoping that there isn’t too much damage to Vicky’s car.”
“I do, too.”
When they all finally arrived back to their house in downtown Valparaiso, Mrs. LeVole went to bed. Victoria and Levi didn’t want to go upstairs. They didn’t want to go to a bar. And Victoria didn’t want to go to her apartment, even though her friends were still there. She wanted to stay here, especially since the sofa she was on was way too comfortable for her to get off it.
She called Jayneley, one of her roommates, to stop by the Cranston’s house to give her whatever toiletries and fresh clothes that she might need for the time being, as she was staying over at her family’s house for the night.
In five minutes, Jayneley came over to the house. The front door was wide open, so that she could come on in without having to wait for someone to open the door for her.
“Hi, Jayneley,” Victoria greeted her good friend from the sofa. She clearly did not want to get up. Jayneley walked over to where she was.
“Hey. What happened?” Jayneley replied.
“Levi and I were in a car accident.”
“Dang it. You guys aren’t hurt, I hope?”
“No,” Victoria answered. Levi wasn’t in the common area. He was getting himself something to eat, since he was hungry again.
“Weren’t you two going out tonight?” Jayneley asked, quite curious.
“We were going to.”
“I saw that in the group message. I just got off work, so you know.”
“Thanks for dropping off my stuff.”
Once Jayneley left, which wasn’t too much longer, Victoria and Levi decided to stay in the common area and watch as many comedy movies as possible until they both fell asleep. Levi heated up some barbeque chicken from earlier. Victoria was not hungry, so she didn’t want anything to eat. She just wanted to get her mind off everything that had happened tonight. And Levi didn’t think he could blame her.
The next morning….
“Levi? Are you awake?” Mrs. LeVole said as she gently shook her son.
“No,” Levi answered quietly. It was noon, and he fell asleep on the sofa at two o’clock in the morning, since both he and Victoria could not fall asleep until then.
“It’s noon. You might want to think about waking up.”
“Why? What’s going on today?”
“You’ve been sleeping for so long. Victoria has been up since nine o’clock this morning,” the kids’ mom remarked.
“Okay,” Levi replied just as quietly, pulling his plush throw over him. It was so obvious that he did not want to wake up.
“Louise and her family are coming over in an hour.”
“Fine. Have it your way.”
“Sorry, Levi. You’re gonna have to start moving.”
“God, I’m sore.”
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi was lying in bed for the longest time. He noticed that Duchess was lying at his side. And he wasn't quite sure where Prussia was at the moment. He was lying on his stomach, trying to figure out when he'd want to get out of bed. It might be a good idea to get out of bed when pigs can fly.
People have been trying to figure out when pigs can fly. It should have been over ten years ago, but alas. Pigs can most definitely fly. That is, for sure, a given. However, no one has ever figured that out. Not Levi nor his family. Not Levi nor his friends. And most certainly not Marty the Polar Bear nor his comrades from Wakahakai, a supposedly fictitious island by Hawaii. But, pigs can fly if they set their minds to it. Then, they can go places. Quite literally, too.
Then, Levi thought that it would be a great idea to get out of bed. He was hoping to do something today. The sun was up, and it was supposed to be a nice day out. Levi wanted Olivia and Evelyn Maeve to do something with him as well. And he knew for sure that at least Olivia would try to go along with what he'd want to do.
Levi got ready for the day, which didn't take him much more than fifteen minutes. Then he came downstairs and did the usual. He made himself a sandwich and ate that as quickly as possible. Then, he wanted to announce to Olivia what his plan for the day entailed. He had the whole today at his feet. He and his sisters had the now at their feet. Levi wanted to be sure that Olivia was okay with what they were doing. He wanted to know for sure that she didn't have other plans. But he was more than confident to explain what he wanted to do today.
"I wanna just walk around downtown," Levi remarked to his older sister when he finally saw her.
"That sounds like a lot of fun since we don't really have much else going on today," Olivia stated.
"It's 9:30 in the morning."
"Dude, what time did you wake up?"
"8:50. I am so proud of myself," Levi replied.
"Oh yeah? Since you have never been able to wake up that early?" Olivia stated.
"Yeah, unless it was for school or something like that."
"Did you need an alarm by any chance?"
"I didn't sleep through it today, strangely enough."
"What time did you have your alarm set to?"
Good thing they didn't have much else going on today. At least Olivia was cool with being out on the town for the day. And Evelyn Maeve would most likely feel the same way. And Levi could invite Rhody to join them since he knew for a fact that he wasn't busy. But he was more than certain that he wouldn't be awake at this hour.
Levi was sitting in the common area playing some video games before they explored downtown for the day. The cats were not with him. They were probably still up in his room sleeping. And Evelyn Maeve noticed her brother on the couch. She definitely wanted to get his attention.
"You're up, Levi?" Evelyn Maeve questioned.
"You seem very surprised," Levi said.
"I am very surprised."
"Okay. We will leave it at that."
"What time did you wake up?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"Ten minutes before my alarm," Levi answered.
"Oh wow. I am shocked."
"What time did you wake up?"
An hour later, Levi decided to call Rhody to see if he'd like to come with them to Valpo. Now, Levi was sure that Rhody would be up. And he was still surprised at the fact that he was up. But this is one of the rarest of occasions for Levi. He must have really been in a good mood this morning to have woken up so early. But he was planning to live today in a positive manner.
This would mean getting Rhody out of bed and at their house at his earliest convenience. And this would also mean spending a day out on the town. And this would definitely mean trying to call him. Levi's phone was within reach from the coffee table. He had left it there after playing video games, but he used it now to get a hold of Rhody.
"Hello, earthling," Rhody answered on his end. He apparently knew that Levi was calling him.
"Hello, human," Levi replied.
"What's going on?"
"Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve are exploring downtown."
"Does that include me?" Rhody asked.
"Are you busy?" Levi answered with another question.
"Not at all."
"Wanna come with us?"
"You stole my line."
That was a deal. Rhody would come over at around 11. This gave the Cranston's a little time to do some more of their chores and to just get ready for the day. And, since Rhody lives a couple blocks from the Cranston's house on Elmhurst Avenue, it wouldn't take Rhody very long to get there. It would probably take him no more than two minutes.
The chores wouldn't take too long either. Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve knew what chores they had to do, so they'd get them done as soon as possible. Olivia would dust, so Levi wouldn't have to, because of his asthma. Levi would pick up around the house as much as he could. And Evelyn Maeve would do what she absolutely loves best: cleaning up in the kitchen.
The chores didn't take much more than an hour. That gave Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve time to get ready for their outing in downtown Valparaiso. And it also gave Rhody some time to get ready for the day.
It was already noon, and the kids were planning to get lunch before they would do anything else. And they knew where they wanted to go. All they had to do right now was wait for Rhody to come over. And Rhody was most likely coming at around 12:15. All the kids did at the moment was sit on the couch and recliners in the common area. Evelyn Maeve wanted to play a video game or two. But then, she thought that it wouldn't be the best idea to do so.
No one said much for that amount of time. Perhaps a little bit of small talk, but not much else. They just wanted Rhody to come over so that they could go out on the town. And also the fact that they could get food. Levi, especially, was starting to get hungry. And Rhody was probably getting hungry as well. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve could wait for a little while. They were starting to get hungry, but they weren't to the point of starving to death.
At least not yet.
At 12:17, Rhody was still not at the Cranston's house. Levi was about to call him until he heard the doorbell ring. He knew who it was. With this in mind, Olivia and Evelyn Maeve let Levi open the door. Levi got up from the couch and walked toward the front door.
Hopefully, this wouldn't be some random pizza guy who had the wrong house address. Hopefully, this wouldn't be some random salesperson advertising ways to make pigs fly. And, hopefully, this wouldn't be the floating lasagna creature from the Land of Spaghetti.
Levi opened the door. Rhody was here to go out on the town with Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve.
"Oh hi, Rhody," Levi greeted his buddy at the door.
"Oh hi, Levi," Rhody answered.
"Your sister working today?"
"Actually, no. She has a couple days off."
"What's she gonna do on those days off?" Levi asked.
"She was thinking about going to the mall with a few friends," Rhody replied.
"Let me guess. It's everyone in that one apartment unit, meaning my sister, Bonita, and Felisha?"
"I think Vicky wants another set of water show speakers, as well as some new outfits."
In no time at all, the four kids headed out to downtown Valparaiso. They stopped by the gas station on Lincolnway and Campbell to get a couple snacks before lunch. Rhody got beef jerky. Levi got beef jerky. Olivia got beef jerky. Evelyn Maeve did not get beef jerky. She got barbecue potato chips.
The four kids sat at one of the tables in the gas station and ate their "appetizers" before exploring downtown. They all wanted something in their stomachs before doing much else. Simply because they forgot to make something for themselves at home.
No one had any idea what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go. Unlike Victoria, Olivia didn't want to go shopping for hats. She just wanted to explore and possibly get coffee somewhere. Levi was thinking the same thing. And so was Rhody. And so was Evelyn Maeve. All they wanted right now was to walk around downtown and see what might be new. And they also wanted to get real food in no more than an hour. But, right now, they just wanted to walk around and make conversation. And then fill up on burgers and fries.
After walking around downtown Valparaiso for an hour, Olivia, Rhody, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve decided to go get food. Of course, Levi and Rhody were starting to get really hungry. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve were starting to get a little hungry, but they were pretty sure they wouldn’t pick out the manly dishes like Rhody and Levi would.
The four kids entered a restaurant near Lincolnway and Napoleon and waited for the hostess to seat them.
“Hi. How many?” the hostess greeted.
“Four,” Rhody answered for everyone.
“Please follow me.”
Everyone followed the hostess. In a few minutes, a lady walked up to their table with a small folder in her hand. Levi, Olivia, Evelyn Maeve, and Rhody did not have much time to converse until the lady would come to them and take their orders.
“Can I start you off with some drinks?” the waitress asked.
“I’ll do the cider,” Levi replied.
“Same as him,” Rhody answered.
“I’ll get a water,” Olivia said.
“A water,” Evelyn Maeve said.
“To the guys who ordered the cider, I’ll need to check your ID,” said the waitress.
When Rhody and Levi got their bottles of hard cider and glasses, the two boys set their glasses off to the side. They wanted to drink out of their bottles. However, before they started drinking, they toasted and then started.
“At least I’m the responsible one,” Olivia joked.
While waiting for their food, Levi and Rhody were drinking their hard cider and making dumb jokes with each other. All Olivia and Evelyn Maeve could do was laugh at the two jokesters. They all ordered burgers and fries and had to wait about thirty minutes for their orders to come up. Surprisingly enough, the restaurant was not really that crowded. Even though it is a popular point of interest. There were four other parties inside the restaurant. But that was it. At least it wasn't crowded to the point that Olivia and Evelyn Maeve couldn't hear the goofy jokes that Rhody and Levi were making. Mostly knock-knock jokes, some dirty jokes, and some other jokes that they know. But certainly nothing Olivia nor Evelyn Maeve couldn't laugh at.
"Don't EVER get Rhody and Levi together," Olivia remarked.
"Why not?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"They're so goofy."
"Is that a bad thing?"
"Not at all. I was kinda making a sarcastic statement," Olivia said.
"They're so hyper when they're together," Evelyn Maeve remarked.
"Yeah. They're bad."
"I don't know who's worse, Levi and Jack, or Levi and Rhody."
"That's a tough question."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi continued to play video games with the younger nephews. Even though Evelyn Maeve was in the same room as them, she didn't play video games. She wanted to watch them play, as well as sit with Duchess and Prussia, the family's cats. Duchess was sitting on Evelyn Maeve's lap. And Prussia was sitting by her right side. Evelyn Maeve was waiting for everyone to decide what they wanted to do. Levi was more focused on the game that he was playing. And the two younger nephews were amazed at what they were watching Levi do on the TV. But they needed to make a decision on what they wanted to do as soon as possible. At least Evelyn Maeve thought this to be the case.
"Levi, what are we doing?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"Ice cream," Levi replied, still focused on his game.
"Okay. When are we going?"
"I'm going to finish up this round, and then we'll go."
"How long will that take?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"When pigs can fly," Levi replied half-heartedly.
"Well, we're still trying to figure out how to make pigs fly."
"You know what I'm thinking?"
"Horchata ice cream."
At that, Levi dropped everything that he did and got up to put his shoes on. That had to work for Levi, and Evelyn Maeve knew it would. The other kids were excited as well. Olivia was just okay with getting out of the house for a while with their mom. They were both getting their hair cut today, so they were most definitely looking forward to the mother-daughter bond time that they would have. Then, they would most likely go in town and have lunch at one of the restaurants on Lincolnway. For them, today was going to be good as well. They were not going to leave until 12:30, and it was only 11:30. Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the three nephews were planning to leave at noon. Their plan was to eat a quick lunch at the house, and then they would head out to the other side of downtown.
"What do you guys want for lunch?" Levi asked everyone.
"Wanna just make cheese sandwiches out of that French bread that we need to use up?" Evelyn Maeve inquired, trying to sound more grown up.
"That sounds good to me. We should have enough."
"We have enough of those bread rolls that will feed us and then some, and then again...."
"Very funny, Evie Maeve," Levi remarked, shaking his head.
"You'll want two sandwiches, right?" Evelyn Maeve asked with a smile.
"You and that saying."
"I've had that saying for a while now."
"I know you have."
Levi wanted to make the sandwiches, since he has a certain way of making them that he likes. He cut the six bread rolls in half and put provolone, mozzarella, and asiago cheese between the halves. He made one for Evelyn Maeve, the three nephews, and two for himself. He was just that hungry so he knew he'd want more than just one sandwich. He also took the carton of milk and poured everyone a glass of milk, assuming that was what they'd want. Once Levi made the sandwiches for everyone, he had everyone sit at the table and eat lunch. The three nephews were goofy, as usual. Evelyn Maeve and Levi couldn't help but laugh at them trying to create as many bubbles as possible by blowing into the milk through the straw. Back in the heyday, Levi and Evelyn Maeve both did that with their milk. And they thought it'd be funny to try it now.
"How many bubbles can I make?" Lemmy asked everyone.
"I see ten," Levi half-joked.
"Wanna try, Wevi?"
"No, thanks. I'm good."
"You should make some milk bubbles!" Lemmy exclaimed.
"Maybe not right now," Levi replied. He is a craft beer enthusiast.
"Want to get ice cream now, since everyone is done with lunch?"
The five kids left the house and walked toward the city square. Evelyn Maeve was making some goofy small talk with the nephews. Levi was listening in on what they were saying and couldn't help but laugh to himself. The kids walked from Elmhurst Avenue to Chestnut Street, which took them to Campbell, then taking that to Lincolnway. The kids walked a ways on Lincolnway until they reached Morgan Boulevard and Lincolnway. Then, they all knew where they were. The kids were more than excited to go to the ice cream parlor. Evelyn Maeve was excited to get horchata ice cream. And Levi was also excited to get horchata ice cream. They were hoping to make this order simple for everyone.
"Hello!" The person behind the counter greeted everyone in a friendly manner.
"Hello," Levi replied.
"What can I get for you today?"
"I would like two orders of horchata ice cream in the waffle cone, and three orders of cake batter in a waffle cone."
"I WANT HORCHATA ICE CREAM!" Lemmy shouted excitedly.
"Okay, three orders of horchata and two orders of cake batter," Levi replied.
"Will that be all for you then?" The person behind the front counter asked.
"Caleb wants vanilla!" Lemmy shouted.
"Okay. Sorry about this. Three orders of horchata, one order of vanilla, and one order of cake batter," Levi said.
"That is fine. Will that be all for you?"
"Yes, for now."
Levi paid for their orders, and when they got their ice cream, they all sat at a table by the door. The young nephews were shoving the ice cream in their mouths. Levi was amused at what their nephews were doing. Evelyn Maeve was also amused at them. Levi and Evelyn Maeve were just enjoying their horchata ice cream. Lemmy and his two younger brothers were enjoying their ice cream and being goofy little kids. They all sat in the ice cream parlor for another thirty minutes. Levi walked back up to the front counter and asked for a cup of water. Then, they were all ready to head out. The three kids wanted to go back to the house. And, as a matter of fact, so did Levi and Evelyn Maeve.
The five kids took Morgan Boulevard from Lincolnway up to Chicago Street, which would take them to Elmhurst Avenue. A walk like this would last about twenty minutes. Evelyn Maeve was making more small talk with the three boys. Levi stayed amused at the conversation that was going on between everyone else. He was texting Jack on the way home because they were hoping to get a tennis practice in this evening. He wasn't too sure if this would happen though, since Jack might already have had plans. David knew that he couldn't practice tonight, and Asad said maybe. Mackenzie, Levi’s girlfriend, knew she couldn't because she was visiting her grandparents tonight. Then, it would most likely just be Jack and Levi practicing tennis tonight.
"Yo, are you gonna play tennis tonight?" Levi asked his best friend via text.
"Yo. Not too sure. Might have plans tonight," Jack replied via text.
"I know. This happened last minute."
"What's up, man?" Levi questioned.
"My cousin's dad has a wedding shower in St. John," Jack answered.
"Hope it's fun, if you go."
"We are still debating."
"Why wouldn't you go?"
"We're not sure."
It wasn't too long before Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the nephews returned to the house on Elmhurst Avenue. Twenty minutes later, they were finally home. Levi wanted to play video games. Their nephews wanted to watch him play. Evelyn Maeve made herself some peppermint tea. She felt like having tea now, so she went for that so-called “temptation.” Levi was too focused on his game, so he wouldn't want tea right now. And the three nephews didn't want milk or anything. Once she was done making her tea, she walked back to the common area and watched Levi try to beat his game. He was that focused.
"DANG IT! I MISSED!" Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
"How?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"I tried hitting the ship from the side. Oh well."
"How many more tries do you have?"
"Oh, I dunno," Levi replied, feeling slightly discouraged.
"How long have you been playing this game?" Evelyn Maeve questioned.
"A while. I should've been able to beat it by now."
"Have you ever beaten it?"
"With a baseball bat? No."
Levi is sweet as can be; he is a master at sarcasm. He can pull off sarcasm very well, especially on his family and friends. He knew that was not what Evelyn Maeve was asking. But Levi wanted to lighten the mood and make everyone laugh. The little nephews would probably not have gotten the joke. They were too busy watching Levi play video games anyway. So they probably weren't even listening. A few minutes later, Levi lost the game, and he quit playing. Now, the nephews wanted him to read a book to them. So Levi picked out the most difficult to read science fiction novel that he could find in the bookshelf by the TV.
Once he sat back down on the couch, the three nephews sat next to him. Levi opened the book and started reading everything in goofy voices. The three nephews were amused that they could listen to their fun uncle read something much over their head. And Evelyn Maeve was amused that Levi was enjoying himself while reading that book in funny voices. All in all, an interesting way to spend a summer afternoon. It was 2:36 in the afternoon, and Louise was most likely coming around 4:30, so Levi had enough time to continue his reading. And Evelyn Maeve had enough time to collect more “stories” for her social media app. Levi continued to read as much of the book as he could in all different kinds of voices. The time seemed to go by very quickly with all of that going on.
And then Levi heard a knock on the door.
Only he didn't answer the door. He had his hands tied up with the reading and such. Evelyn Maeve answered the door. It was Louise, and things must have been going well for her husband's sister. The kids' mom and Olivia were going to be home around five o'clock in the evening. The kids' dad ended up making a stop in Crown Point to visit Elizabeth, the kids' other half-sister, and her husband, Paul Weiner. Evelyn Maeve made some small talk with Louise. The three nephews heard their mom's voice and clung to Levi's arms. They were having a great time here with Levi. They obviously did not want to leave yet.
Louise had been talking to everyone else. Levi continued to play video games with his nephews, who were still trying to cling to his arms. They were just watching him try to beat the level that he was on. And Evelyn Maeve was also watching them. This was quite entertaining for a little while.
"Boys, time to go home," Louise shouted toward the common area.
"NOOOOOO!!!!" Lemmy shouted.
"David Lemster Baranovsky-Soriano, we have family friends coming over tonight."
"But I want to stay with Wevi!"
That was most definitely not enough coaxing for Lemmy. He was hoping to stay at the Cranston's house and watch Levi play video games. And Evelyn Maeve was pretty fun as well. Lemmy was having a great time. And so were his two little brothers.
Levi finished his video game, and Lemmy jumped up in his arms. Caleb Ogden wanted Levi to carry him as well. When he walked toward Louise, who was in the kitchen, he was carrying Lemmy in one arm and Caleb in the other arm. Andrew Harrison was with Evelyn Maeve in the common area. This was going to be interesting.
"Looking for these knuckleheads?" Levi asked his oldest sister.
"Yes!" Louise exclaimed.
"You might want to get them, or they might decide to come with me."
"What would they do at your get-together? Just curious," Levi remarked. Lemmy's head was pressed firmly against Levi's chest.
"Yeah, I guess I see where you're going," Louise said.
"Would it be cool if I had them for another few hours?"
"If you say so. Just don't get them too excited about fried chicken."
"Don't worry. I will."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was around 9:15 in the morning, and Levi just woke up. He got ready for the day and then walked downstairs to the dining room table. He didn't eat anything yet. Instead, he put his head in his arms, which were resting on the table and tried to fall back asleep. He had no idea why he woke up so early. This was most definitely not right for him. And it was most definitely not right for anyone else in the house. Everyone was at home at the moment. The parents were conversing in the common area. Olivia was with them. And Evelyn Maeve was trying to keep Levi company.
Somehow, Levi was able to fall back asleep at the table. When Evelyn Maeve knew about this, she went into the common area to be with everyone else. Everyone knows that Levi is not a morning person. And, because of this, they knew not to bother him. But the two family cats, Duchess and Prussia, didn't know that. They both got up on the table and rubbed their faces against Levi's arms. Levi didn't move. He was sound asleep. However, he heard the home phone ring, which was by his left arm. He slowly grabbed the phone without moving his head, and he answered it in the nick of time.
"Hello?" Levi answered sleepily on his end. He was so surprised that he could hear the phone ring.
"Hi, Levi. You just woke up?" Louise asked.
"Yes, I did."
"Sorry I woke you up."
"What time is it?" Levi asked, half-awake. Louise knew that, in her little brother's voice, he had just woken up.
"It is 9:30," Louise replied.
"Oh wow. It's so early."
"For me, it is."
Levi was still on the phone with Louise. However, he had no idea how well he could converse with his oldest half-sister. Given the fact that he was half-awake and was trying to fall asleep. Levi had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But Louise wasn't nearly as confused. She just knew that Levi was just now "getting out of bed." Levi knew that he wanted to go back to bed. And no one would be able to dispute that. Not on Levi's terms. He would know that for sure.
"I was calling because I will need one of you guys to babysit my kids," Louise said.
"When?" Levi asked, fighting to wake up.
"Around noon, if that would work."
"So, what's up?"
"My sister-in-law has an emergency," Louise answered.
"Everything okay?" Levi asked.
"It will be. She needs to have her appendix taken out, we think."
"Been there, done that."
"That is true."
"She'll have a great time, that's for sure."
Levi then got off the phone with Louise. There was absolutely no way that he'd be able to go back to sleep. It was probably good that he couldn't. Louise's sons, David Lemster, or Lemmy, Caleb Ogden Brian, and Andrew Harrison, would be here within an hour, and Levi needed to be awake for them. Primarily because of how rowdy they really can be. Evelyn Maeve has kept them in line in the past. However, a fourteen-year-old girl couldn't do everything by herself. Sometimes she would need a little help from her brother. And he was perfectly okay with spending at least some time with them. He has actually helped calm them down in the past.
Evelyn Maeve somehow realized that Levi was now awake. He still had his head in his arms, which were resting on the table. But his adopted sister knew that he couldn't be sleeping now. With that in mind, she walked over to the dining room table and stayed with Levi to keep him company. She was actually excited about their nephews coming over. Levi wasn't as excited. He was more excited about going upstairs and falling asleep on his futon. But then again, maybe not. He probably wouldn't be able to do such a thing at this hour. Rather, it would be a better idea to converse with Evelyn Maeve.
"Morning, Levi," Evelyn Maeve said as she came into the room.
"Morning, Evie Maeve," Levi replied, still sleepily.
"Our nephews are coming today."
"Yes, at noon."
"That will be nice to have them over," Evelyn Maeve commented.
"For the most part, yes. But they can be a bit of a handful, especially Lemmy," Levi remarked.
"True. Lemmy can be very rowdy.
"And he's nearly eight years old."
"Eight year olds can be so rowdy though."
"Oh, I know."
Levi still didn't want to get up right now. He was okay with their nephews coming over. But he has always hated the mornings. But mornings have always loved him. This was a total catch 22 for Levi. He and Evelyn Maeve wanted to spend time with the little nephews, but they wanted some more time to get ready for the day. The idea that their nephews were coming over motivated Levi to wake up more quickly.
He got ready for the day, and then he came back downstairs. Levi saw Olivia sitting at the dining room table. He wasn't quite sure what she was doing at first, so he left her alone. Levi made himself another sandwich. He was hungry again. Then, after he quickly ate his sandwich, he forgot to make his bed. Before doing anything else, he ran upstairs to do that. Then, he knew that his nephews would come any time soon. He had to come back downstairs. And he thought he needed to come back downstairs soon.
"Hi, Olivia," Levi said as he walked downstairs.
"Hey," Olivia replied, finishing a novel.
"What are you reading?"
"I think I read that book once," Levi stated.
"You did?" Olivia replied, looking up at Levi.
"If I can remember correctly."
"It's a great book. You should read it again!"
"I probably will, but I'm not much of a reader."
"Me neither, but I love murder mystery."
A few minutes later, Levi heard a knock on the door. He ran toward the door to open it. But he tripped and fell to the floor. Hard. Olivia ran toward the door to open it. But she tripped on Levi and fell to the floor. Hard. Then, their mom helped Olivia and Levi get up, and she walked toward the door to open it. She couldn't quite understand why they would think they'd need to run to the door. Maybe they wanted to see their nephews that badly. At least neither Olivia nor Levi was hurt. But neither of them could get to the door in time.
Louise was standing at the front door with her children, waiting to come in. She has a key to the house, but she somehow left it at home. With this in mind, she would need someone to let her in today. Even though Olivia and Levi were not seriously injured, they were embarrassed and amused, all at the same time. And their mom was also amused. She opened the door for her first daughter and kids.
"Hello!" Mrs. LeVole, their mom, greeted Louise at the door.
"Hello!" Louise greeted back.
"So, you're handing over your kids for a while?"
"Yes. Brian's sister needs her appendix out, and we were going to see them."
"Hope everything will be alright with them," Mrs. LeVole remarked.
"She is going to get surgery in forty-five minutes, and she'll be in Merrillville," Louise said.
"Yes. We caught it early."
"Things like that you never know will happen."
After they all came into the house, Mrs. LeVole and her oldest daughter, Louise, were conversing at the dining room table. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve were drawing cartoons with Lemmy. And Levi was sitting on the floor in the common area with the two younger twin boys. Mr. Cranston, the kids’ dad, was going to be home in about an hour, as he was coming in from Chicago. So he would be able to make goofy voice impressions to everyone once he'd come home. Levi wanted to play video games, and the two younger boys wanted to watch him. Andrew Harrison was interested in a stethoscope, which was somehow lying on the floor. Who would have done something with this? Levi probably couldn't remember what someone might have used the stethoscope for. But the one twin wanted to try it out.
"What is this?" Andrew Harrison asked Levi.
"It's called a stethoscope. You put the round piece on your chest, and you can listen to your heartbeat with it. Wanna try it out?" Levi offered.
A few moments later....
"I can't hear anything!" Andrew Harrison exclaimed when he had the round piece on his chest but didn't have the ear pieces in.
"You don't have the ear pieces in," Levi replied.
"Can you help me?"
Levi gently put the ear pieces in the little kid's ears. Then, he took the round piece and put it on the little kid's chest. Levi couldn't help but watch his nephew get so interested in hearing his own heart beating. After all, he is pretty little, so he probably couldn't remember hearing it before. Caleb Ogden seemed uninterested. He would rather be playing video games than trying something new. He watched, but he didn't participate. Andrew Harrison, who was interested, then put the round piece on Levi's chest. Levi was perfectly okay with this, after being so afraid of his heartbeat at a young age. Since he has been dating Mackenzie, he outgrew that fear.
Levi closed his eyes when his nephew was listening to his heartbeat. There wasn't any reason, he just felt relaxed at this point. Andrew Harrison put the round piece everywhere on his chest because he's only a little kid and doesn't know any better. This had been going on for about two minutes, and then Andrew Harrison was a little sick and tired of listening to heartbeats. Right now, Levi didn't really care to listen to his own heart beating. He just wanted to continue playing video games. And so did Caleb Ogden. Andrew Harrison was sitting on the couch staring into space. However, he didn't see any aliens. That would've been weird.
"What should we do?" Evelyn Maeve asked Levi out of the blue. She had just walked into the common area from the kitchen.
"We're just playing video games at the moment," Levi replied.
"Well, I was thinking later."
"There are lots of things for us to do with the kids."
"Yes. Lots," Evelyn Maeve repeated.
"What were you thinking?" Levi asked, still focused on his video game.
"Ice cream. Cupcakes. Cream soda. Anything else sugary."
"Whatever floats your boat."
"We can decide later."
From Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game
David and Cera were at the baseball park, watching Brody’s and Andrew’s team do very well at their second to last practice.
Then, all of a sudden, David thought that he could now make his move to make a proposition to Cera.
His heart was pounding so hard against his chest that it actually hurt. His hands suddenly grew sweaty. And he was going to risk everything that he felt.
Just to make his move.
“Hey….Cera?” David stuttered.
“Yes?” Cera questioned.
“I was wondering something.”
“And what might that be?”
“You know, I like you,” David replied quickly.
“I like you, too,” Cera said.
“And, I was wondering….would you like to be….”
All of that weight suddenly fell off David’s shoulders. Today was definitely a good day for both of them.
From Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game
It was August 25, 2005, so a little under a year ago. And Toby was at his best friend’s house for the afternoon. Dawson and Brett were at the bowling alley. David had tennis practice, and Brody had baseball practice for a fall club that he was in.
Toby Ingram and Sav Taffert were playing video games in Sav’s living room.
And then a cat walked up to Toby.
“Oh look! It’s Miss Snuggles,” Sav said.
“Hey, Miss Snuggles,” Toby greeted the cat.
“She really likes you. I hope you know that.”
“I can see that.”
“She really likes to watch us play video games,” Sav remarked to his best friend.
“She has always liked to watch you guys play games, hasn’t she?” Toby replied.
“Yes, she has. When my older brother, Joab, and I play video games, she always sits on the recliners.”
“She’s a very smart kitty.”
Toby and Sav continued to play video games when Miss Snuggles sat on a plush red pillow between the two boys. Then, Sav made sweet tea for everyone.
From The Magic Video Game
Cosmo was walking along the shoreline when he spotted an unidentified flying object. When the UFO finally landed on the beach, there was a weird-looking creature that found the crazy penguin. He walked up to the penguin and introduced himself.
“Hello, my name is Sam. I am happy to be in Calignobia,” the creature said.
“Sorry, bub. You happen to be in Wakahakai,” Cosmo answered matter-of-factly.
“Well, then where is Calignobia?”
Cosmo pointed in two different directions.
“Thank you, Sir Penguin.”
“You’re welcome! Come back any time!” Cosmo shouted at the top of his lungs when the creature boarded back into his UFO.
From The Magic Video Game
Back in Valparaiso, Victoria and Evelyn Maeve spent the entire day with each other. Their parents were working and would be home in the afternoon.
It was now eleven o’clock in the morning, and the two girls decided to walk around downtown. They had nothing else to do today.
When the two girls started walking around the nice downtown area, Evelyn Maeve brought, to Victoria’s attention, a man with his thumb up, obviously waiting for a ride from a random person.
“Is that person hijacking?” Evelyn Maeve asked her older sister, with a smile.
Victoria and Evelyn Maeve laughed very hard at the question. Words like that can be very similar in their spelling.
“Evelyn Maeve, that’s called hitchhiking. That person is hitchhiking,” Victoria answered.
Well, today was Monday.
Tomorrow is Tuesday.
You know what the next day after that is.
No, this is not a haiku.
Eating a ham and cheese empanada.
Tomorrow is Wednesday, thank goodness.
We are half-way into Friday.
Please ignore my title.
It's not almost Tuesday.
It's almost Wednesday.
I should be writing.
But it's too rainy to even think about that.
I want Chinese food instead.
But I just had dinner.
Off to going back to writing.
About my Blog
My blog contains anything and everything one should know about my books. Aaaaand a lot more as well.