My roast beef sandwich,
Is very delectable.
My roast beef sandwich.
I’m writing haiku.
To get past this day.
Is green, blue, and scarlet red.
Writing is simple.
Simple as watching paint dry,
But more exciting.
Little kitty cat,
Meowing like a cute baby,
Easy to care for.
Ate a cheeseburger,
Without any cheese on it.
It’s a hamburger.
It was March 27, 2017, and Brody Ingram (Rockybado) had just received news about his new IT job for a good company out in San Francisco, California. His girlfriend, Julia Jaconetti, is going to move with him. She has been considering graduate school for marketing, but she is currently a full time online tutor, and her hours are a bit off. While maintaining this gig, she will look for a full-time opportunity out in the Bay Area.
Brody’s brother, David, is planning to go to a university in San Francisco next fall to study IT, as well as Brody’s best friend, Andrew McCalsky. Although they are planning to move to San Francisco, they are not going to do so until summer 2017, so that they can get organized for the time being.
It was 8 o’clock in the morning of moving day, and Brody was supposed to be awake by now. When David walked into his room to check on him, Brody was still sleeping soundly on his futon. He looked pretty comfortable, too. His comforter lay loosely on top of him, with part of it already on the floor. One of his pillows was on the floor, touching the farthest point of his comforter. Brody was lying on his stomach, on top of his blue body pillow that he has had since he was in seventh grade, shortly after he had his tonsils taken out.
Even though David wanted to let Brody sleep for a little while longer, he knew that he had to wake up Brody. His new job will start at the beginning of April, but Brody and Julia needed a little bit of extra time to get moved into their place, which they will be sharing with Brody’s cousin’s friend, Kevin Iacobucci and his girlfriend, Lesley. Brody has been battling a cold for a few days, and this was most likely going to put a damper on his moving experience from Merrillville, Indiana to the West Coast.
Brody, being as he always is, will make light of today, even if he isn’t feeling 100 percent.
There were a couple other things that David needed to help Brody pack, such as his futon and bedsheets, toiletries, and his laptop. David, Toby, who is David and Brody’s younger brother, Andrew, and Adam Levistad, David’s best friend, were going to help Brody and Julia move to San Francisco. David asked his fiancée, Olivia Flavenshevich, if she was available to help, and she said no.
David walked over to Brody and gently shook him. Within a few minutes, Brody slowly woke up. Then, he fell back asleep. Even though he has been excited about moving to San Francisco, he was not feeling too well this morning it seemed. His nose was all stuffed up, so he couldn’t breathe out of it. All he wanted to do right now was to sleep in as late as he possibly could.
“Hey, Brody,” David said to his younger Irish twin brother.
“What?” Brody answered in his sleep.
“Julia is here.”
Brody woke up slowly. He was still not in the mood to do much of anything. His throat was still a little sore from the cold that he was battling, and it was pretty hard for him to breathe. David felt pretty sorry for Brody, since this was all very bad timing, but he still needed to get ready for his move to San Francisco.
In general, Brody was pretty excited about the move, but the cold was not doing him any favors whatsoever. While waiting for Brody to take his sweet little time getting ready for the day, David invited Julia inside their apartment for a cup of tea. They both knew Brody would take a while, so why not wait for a bit?
“How’s Brody doing?” Julia asked David.
“Well, he could be doing better,” David half-joked.
“Of course. I’m assuming it’s just a cold?”
“That’s all it is, the man cold.”
“He needs to man up, then!” Julia joked.
“Of course!” David replied.
“What time do we need to leave?”
“I think noon. Andrew, Adam, and Toby are coming over around 10 am.”
“What kind of tea would you like?”
David set out his pot of water on the stove, and waited for it to boil. Julia couldn’t wait for her oolong tea fix. And, once Brody would finally wake up, he would likely make English breakfast tea for himself. Since that is always his go-to flavor.
Julia noticed David’s shirt, since she has never seen him wear it before. It said, “Deutschland” on it, with the German flag showing underneath the letters. She has seen both him and Brody wear t-shirts that they got from London a while ago, but she somehow didn’t know that David studied German in high school and college.
Brody also studied German in high school and some college.
“When did you go to Germany?” Julia asked David.
“In 2013. Brody and I both went there for a month during the summer,” David replied.
“Oh awesome! Did you like it?”
“Absolutely I did. Running in Germany is so much different than it is here.”
“I’ll bet. I didn’t know you run,” Julia said.
“Sometimes, but Brody is much better than I am,” David remarked.
“What did you guys do there?”
“My parents gave me and Brody a package to Germany. One of their friends had planned to go to Germany, but their plans fell through, so we took that opportunity.”
“That sounds like it was a great opportunity. Where were you?”
“Mostly in Munich, but we explored as much of Germany as we possibly could.”
Brody finally got up, but he didn’t go into the common area with everyone else. He stayed in his room and played on his phone. Of course it was going to take him a little while to get up. But it was already 8:30 in the morning, and he still had some things he needed to pack. Only three and a half hours left to do everything, and their friends were coming over in a little while. The boys’ family was coming over at 11 o’clock, just to make sure everything was moved out of Brody’s room. And also to give them some of their mostaccioli that they so love.
“Good morning, Brody,” David greeted his younger Irish twin brother with a smile, as Brody finally walked into the common area to be with everyone.”
“Hi,” Brody replied quietly. He was obviously still out of it.
“Fancy seeing you here so early.”
“Very funny, David. Now, will you help me get things?”
“What things?” David asked.
“You know….” Brody remarked with a roll of the eyes.
“Is someone not a morning person?”
“You’re not either.”
“That’s true. Want some tea?”
Brody didn’t say much else. He sat loosely on the leather recliner as he was fighting to stay awake. Hopefully the English Breakfast tea would perk him up somehow. David was thinking it would. He was pretty excited about going to San Francisco for a few days. He took this week off work to get Brody and Julia situated in their new apartment. And they’d likely see a few places and do a few things while there. This would likely be the last time that David would go to San Francisco as a visitor, as his plan is to move out that way this summer. His plan is to move to San Francisco with Andrew by July. They had a lot of things that they needed to get taken care of as well.
The tea was made, and Brody slowly walked over to get himself a cup of tea. Julia was sipping her tea as well, but somehow David fell asleep within fifteen minutes. If he was so awake and energetic one minute, then how could he be asleep the next?
David was all sprawled out on the couch in the common area, with a plush throw blanket over his legs. There was a pillow that was partially over his head, and his left hand was on top of his chest, moving up and down with his steady breathing. He looked very comfortable, and no one wanted to wake him up.
Julia stayed at the apartment, even though David somehow fell asleep out of the random.
“How are you doing, Brody?” Julia asked.
“I’m okay, just a little sore is all,” Brody replied. He still lay sprawled out on the recliner, drinking his tea.
“Whatever happened to David?”
“I don’t know. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen to him!”
“Que interesante!” Julia exclaimed in Spanish.
“Bellissimo!” Brody replied back.
“You ready to move to San Francisco?”
“Absolutely, I am. I just wish I wasn’t sick.”
“Is David sick, too?”
“Maybe a little.”
David was sound asleep, and both Brody and Julia knew it. He must have started getting a little sick, too. Brody started getting sick a week ago, and he was still fighting the noble battle. Getting sick right before the excursion to San Francisco seemed to be one of the worst times to get sick. David’s face was a little red, especially around his nose. He must have been awake the whole night trying to get things organized for him and everyone else going to the Bay Area.
Brody and Julia could both hear David snoring loudly. They couldn’t help but laugh. Not just at David’s faint snoring, but also at random things. If one person started laughing, the other person would join in, and the other way around.
David had not planned on falling back asleep, but he did.
“David, wake up!” Brody shouted at his older Irish twin brother.
“Brody!” Julia exclaimed.
“He was supposed to help me pack.”
“I can help you pack.”
“What about you? Did you get your stuff packed already?” Brody asked.
“Last week,” Julia replied with a smile.
“I wish I was like that!”
“I’ll teach you.”
“Show me your ways!”
David still lay comfortably on the couch for the time being. It was 9 o’clock in the morning, and Brody and Julia started packing what was left of Brody’s room in their apartment. After Brody leaving, David, Andrew, and Adam have been planning to bring in Adam’s cousin, Ben. After David and Andrew leaving, Adam and Ben have been planning to bring in a couple mutual friends to split the cost of rent, since it would then be only the two of them.
Brody got up off the recliner, and he took his and Julia’s mug and put them both in the sink. David also had a mug, but half of the English Breakfast tea was still in it. His breathing was steady, and his left hand was still on his chest. He just moved his right arm and loosely put it over the pillow, which was over his head.
Fifteen minutes later….
“Wake up, David!” Brody shouted.
“Wha….“ David replied quietly.
“You awake, bro?”
“Now I am.”
“San Francisco, though!” Brody exclaimed.
“Can’t wait,” David answered in his sleep, moving over on his side and pulling his blanket over him.
“Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey.”
“No, Brody. Not that joke again.”
“Yes, that joke again!”
“Julia, make him stop!”
David slowly got up from his little catnap, and then he, Brody, and Julia packed everything on Brody’s side of the room. There was really not that much left. But, once they all got everything officially packed, Brody resorted back to his leather recliner. Julia sat right next to him, wrapping her arms around Brody’s chest. David proceeded to make his signature steak skillet, but then he realized that their parents were coming over to give them their signature mostaccioli.
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.
From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
Brody and David were outside on this morning. It was a nice one at best; they could feel the breeze in their faces, and the sun was up. They knew that it was going to be a nice day to say the least. It was ten o’clock, and everyone had been awake for at least two hours, even David and Brody. But they were all okay with that. The two Irish twin brothers sat out on the patio, trying to decide what to do next.
“Want to ride bikes?” David asked his younger brother of a little less than a year.
“Okay! Any idea on where we’d go?” Brody exclaimed.
“Probably downtown. I know that we both like going there.”
“Let’s do this.”
“We are riding to Downtown Crown Point and back. I don’t know if we’d have time to ride all the way to Lowell,” David remarked, reminding Brody of his girlfriend, Candace Seales.
“We couldn’t pay Candace a visit anyway,” Brody said.
“Oh. Is she out of town?”
“She’s at her mom’s house for the day.”
“Where does she live?”
“St. John, so not too far away.”
Oh well. David and Brody knew that they were going to have a lot of fun anyway. They always have fun on their bike rides together. The two boys always have, and chances are that they always will. Toby and their mom went to Merrillville to visit Dawson and Daniela, and their dad met up with one of his friends at a nice coffee shop this morning. So, David and Brody decided to leave their house and ride their bikes to Brett’s house.
Brett and his bandmates live in a house on Magnolia Drive, which is south of the downtown area, and a twenty-five minute bike ride from 93rd and Merrillville, which is technically where David and Brody live. The two boys were okay with the thirty minute bike ride to their older brother’s house.
While riding their bikes to Brett’s house, David and Brody were trying to chase each other down the street. Maybe not the safest thing to do, they quit after five minutes. But Brody thought of the idea of taking both hands off the handlebars and raising them up in the air. For a few seconds, he could feel the wind blowing in his face, and he could also feel the wind surging through his shirt.
What a liberating feeling.
Then, Brody was starting to lose control of his bike, which nearly went off the curb and onto the road. He was able to grip the handlebars before that happened. The two boys realized that they headed into Downtown Crown Point soon enough. When they were there, it wasn’t crowded at all. The streets weren’t all that busy. There were a few passersby, but that was basically it.
There were quite a few elderly couples walking their dogs. A couple families with their little kids going over to the nearest fast food joint in the area. Some young adults were just walking around, trying to pass the time by having some fun.
Downtown was nice, as always.
Then David and Brody stayed on Main Street, and headed toward their old high school. They saw the hospital and realized that Magnolia Drive was coming up soon. David and Brody turned left onto Magnolia Drive.
About a minute later, the two boys approached a smaller house with a blue pick-up truck that was assumed to be the carrier of all the equipment for the gigs. This is Brett’s house. But the truck does not belong to Brett. It belongs to the drummer of the band.
David and Brody set their bikes out in front of the pick-up truck and walked up to the front door. Brody knocked on it, and Brett came out within moments. He was wearing a blue polo shirt and khakis.
Brett’s typical attire.
They all said “hi” to each other, and Brett invited David and Brody inside. Everyone in the band was at home. John Coolwood, Chris Paragnotti, and Tony Rossi. Chris and Tony were in the middle of a card game, commonly known to man as euchre. The two bandmates invited Brody to play euchre with them, which he accepted. David, Brett, and Coolwood ended up conversing amongst themselves.
“So, where are you playing today?” David asked his older brother.
“Take a wild guess,” Brett replied.
“Great. I love surprises.”
“I know you do. That’s why we’re making you guess,” Coolwood stated.
“Good one, Brett. Good one,” David remarked.
“Yeah. That’s what I like to do best,” Brett stated.
“How many guesses do I have?”
“Three, as always.”
“So, the first guess is at Coolwood’s house?” David guessed.
“Wrong,” Coolwood said as he shook his head.
“Okay. What about the bowling alley?”
“Okay? My last guess is at the park,” David guessed.
“No,” Brett said.
“Then where is it?”
When Toby and their mom came back from visiting Dawson and Daniela, they cleaned the house for a bit. They didn’t think that the house itself had to go under much serious cleaning because the whole family cleaned it the week before. However, they had something going on tonight, which was going to take place in their backyard, and the Ingram’s wanted to make sure that the house was as presentable as could possibly be.
After thirty minutes of non-intense house cleaning, Dawson and Daniela came over to the house, and the boys’ dad just came back from meeting up with his friend at the coffee shop. A few minutes after that, David and Brody came home from Brett’s house, and Brody played video games with Toby. An hour later, they all had lunch together.
“When did you wake up this morning, Brody?” Dawson asked, during lunch.
“Pretty early actually,” Brody replied.
“I haven’t seen you at all today.”
“That’s because I was playing video games with Toby.”
“Makes sense,” Dawson said.
“I beat him, so that’s good,” Brody remarked, laughing to himself.
“What’s so funny?”
“I beat him at his favorite game.”
“Is he mad about it?”
“Strangely enough, no.”
Toby overheard Dawson’s and Brody’s conversation at the table while they were all eating veggie omelets. He didn’t say a word about any of what Brody had said. He, instead, talked to David about the gig tonight. And, of course, Dawson, Daniela, and Brody talked about other random things.
Lunch was over before everyone knew it. The family cleared off the table, and then they all did their own thing afterwards. David and Brody played video games. Dawson and Daniela were conversing with the boys’ parents. And Toby went upstairs to play bowling games on the computer.
Everything seemed normal for the first few minutes. Then, something that never happens occurred. This created a sense of confusion for the whole family.
“I’M SO MAD AT YOU RIGHT NOW, BRODY!” Toby shouted from upstairs. Everyone could hear him.
“No, he’s not,” Brody said to David. They both laughed to themselves.
“Or is he?” David questioned.
“I think he’s being sarcastic.”
“Let’s hope he is.”
“I think he’s overly stoked about the gig tonight,” Brody pointed out.
“Did Brett tell you where his gig is tonight?” David asked his younger brother of a little under 365 days, or 366 days rather. Since Brody’s birth year, 1992, fell on a leap year.
“Did he not tell you?”
“He made me guess where it was.”
“He just told me.”
Surprise, surprise. The boys’ parents wanted to make this a surprise for everyone. They have not had The Hawaiian Geeks perform at their house for quite some time, try four months. The Hawaiian Geeks were basically “touring” around the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area, so they didn’t just stay in one place.
After Toby had lost his cool for five seconds, things went back to normal. Toby was probably trying to calm himself down, if he was really mad at Brody. Dawson and Daniela actually played video games with David and Brody, and their parents were still conversing amongst themselves.
The four were sick and tired of playing video games for an hour and thirty minutes.
“Did you win euchre today, Brody?” David asked.
“No,” Brody replied, staring into space. What was he thinking about?
“Have you seen Toby?”
“Are you in need of a cup of tea?” David asked.
“No,” Brody replied, still staring into space.
“Do you want to build a tree house?”
“Are you going to keep saying no to me?”
Brett then arrived at the Ingram’s house. He saw what everyone was doing, said “hey” to all of them, and then he saw Toby, who had just come back downstairs. Toby looked like his normal self. He was probably never mad at Brody, and if he was, he probably wasn’t anymore. Toby sat at the dining room table with a glass of tea.
“Are you mad at Brody?” Brett asked Toby.
“Not anymore,” Toby replied with a shrug.
“Well, get ready for tonight!”
“I’ve been ready for it the whole day!”
“Only a few more hours,” Brett remarked.
“I know. Is Mr. Morton also playing today?” Toby asked.
“Yes. David McCalsky took my place as lead guitar in Mr. Morton.”
“Was being in two bands too much for you?”
“A little, since I also work full-time for a financial firm.”
“I liked being in Mr. Morton, but I’m basically married to The Hawaiian Geeks.”
“Nice way of putting it.”
Dawson, Daniela, Brett, and Mr. and Mrs. Ingram sat at the dining room table and conversed for quite a while. David, Brody, and Toby sat out on the patio, still amazed at how beautiful today was. Today was already amazing, even though Toby was mad at Brody for a few minutes. Tonight was going to be amazing, since the Hawaiian Geeks were playing their gig at the Ingram’s house. To top everything off for the band, Brett was sure to have an easier and much more enjoyable experience with the band, since he recently left Mr. Morton and focused mainly on the Hawaiian Geeks.
“So, I think David likes playing for Mr. Morton now?” Dawson asked Brett.
“Seems to like it,” Brett responded.
“I couldn’t see how you could handle playing for two bands, to be honest.”
“It was hard. The Hawaiian Geeks is like my full-time band. Mr. Morton was my part-time band. I stayed longer because one of our former bandmates, Kevin Helmsley, moved to Brooklyn, and we couldn’t find anyone to take his place, so I took it. Before he moved, I played the keyboard.”
“Not your main instrument, is it?” Dawson asked.
“No! Not at all,” Brett stated.
“Bowling is tomorrow. Remember?”
“I actually forgot.”
The gig was going to happen in a few hours. And the family knew who was coming. The boys’ cousins, aunt, and uncle were coming, as well as each set of grandparents, and best friends. The bandmates’ families were also coming, so there was going to be a full house tonight. Even though there might be a bit of a crowd, it was going to be a fun night. Everyone was sure of it.
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.”
The Crazy Chicken Escapade
It was the next morning, around 10:30. Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) was the only person in the house who was still sleeping. Victoria and Olivia, two of Levi’s four older sisters, checked on him periodically to see if he had at least stirred. It was now Victoria’s turn to check on him.
When she went up to his room, he was still sleeping soundly on his futon. He was wrapped in his red and black plaid comforter under his ceiling fan, which was going at full speed. Levi was sleeping on his stomach. He was shirtless, and he wore plaid shorts. He was barefoot with his left ankle in a brace.
There were many posters, most relating to old video games, on his wall. There was a pink lava lamp on his night stand. The only things not well-organized in his room were his video games. He had an older console in his room, as well as several handheld games.
Levi looked very cute and innocent when sleeping, and Victoria really did not want to wake him up. She had to, though, because they had to meet their aunt and uncle at the airport at noon. They were coming in from Rhode Island and would stay in Valparaiso for a week.
Victoria had to think quickly about ways to wake up Levi. She had thought about turning on the TV to full volume to try to wake him up. She also pondered turning the light on and turning the radio on to full blast. And then she believed that pouring ice cold water on him would be the best option. Victoria went down into the kitchen to get an icy cold water bottle. When she went back up to Levi’s room only to find him still asleep, he was now sleeping on his back, so his chest and stomach were exposed.
Victoria twisted the cap of the water bottle and tried pouring the icy cold water on his stomach. As a response, Levi jumped quickly and rolled over on his side. He could now hear his own heart pounding in his ears, and he started crying.
“What the heck, Victoria….” Levi moaned while fighting to go back to sleep.
“We have to meet Aunt Jennifer and Uncle John at the airport in less than two hours,” Victoria responded.
“I want to go back to sleep.”
“When did you go to bed last night?”
“Playing video games?”
Levi couldn’t help crying. Not being a morning person, he found it very hard to wake up. When he was half-awake, Levi grabbed his blue throw blanket and wrapped it around himself. He sat up while shivering. His eyes were closed, and he put his head in his arms. He was really not in the mood to wake up yet, much less, converse with anyone.
“I’m cold,” he spoke quietly.
“I poured ice water on your stomach,” Victoria stated.
“I noticed. When are we going to the airport?”
“As soon as possible.”
Levi didn’t move. Instead, he lay back down on his futon. He gently laid his fingers on his chest, and he could feel his strong pulse pushing against his fingertips. He closed his eyes and thought about Mackenzie Burbanks, his girlfriend.
Mackenzie is a girl whom Levi had asked out four days after he had his tonsils taken out. He has always thought she was the prettiest girl in school since he moved here from Crown Point. Her brown hair, brown eyes, and unique smile would always get Levi’s heart pounding harder than it would when he played in the most intense tennis match. His breathing would become so labored that his chest hurt, and his stomach would turn upside down.
The phone rang, and Victoria hurried downstairs to answer it. Her brother wished it would be Mackenzie, even though he was sure it wasn’t she. Mackenzie was visiting her relatives in Long Island for a couple weeks. When he eliminated that idea, Levi made good use of this time by adding a few more minutes of sleep. Five minutes later, Victoria returned to Levi’s room.
“Hey, Levi, we don’t have to be at the airport until two,” she told him.
“Why two?” Levi asked.
“Their flight has been delayed.”
Yes! Levi thought. He could get at least another hour of sleep. While covering himself up in his comforter and other blankets, he waited for their two cats, Duchess and Prussia, to come in and lie on the bed with him. He closed his eyes again and slept for thirty minutes until his dad came into his room.
“Howdy, partner!” his dad shouted all of a sudden. Levi slowly opened his eyes. When he came to his senses, he knew it was his dad. Levi tried going back to sleep.
“We gotta go to the airport, dude! So, you gotta get rid of them here blankets!” his dad announced comically.
Levi moaned. He was not in the mood for this. He wrapped himself in his comforter so that his dad would have a hard time pulling the covers off him. His goal was to get at least ten hours of sleep every night during the summer, but that could not possibly happen at this point.
“Okay. I gotta pull them woobies off you. One….two….three!” his dad said as he pulled his comforter off his son.
Levi tried desperately to grab one corner of his comforter, but his dad made sure he could not reach it. He still lay on the bed, moaning.
Levi did not want to get up. He spent too much time playing video games, and he got only eight hours of sleep. Once his dad told him that they needed to start heading out to the airport, he slowly sat up and crossed his arms. His eyes were half-open. Right now, he only focused on waking up, as it would take him a long time to do so.
His dad then left the room, and Levi made a few more attempts at waking up. Every morning, he would try to do at least 50 push-ups. Sometimes, he would try to go for 100, and other times, he could barely make it to 50. Today, he was shooting for 100.
And here goes nothing.
A few minutes later….
“….98….99….100,” he counted to himself while fighting to breathe.
He made it to 100. Afterwards, he lay on his stomach, breathing very hard. Pain shot up in both arms. His chest hurt every time he took a breath and during every heartbeat. He could feel his heart pounding so hard inside him that it could burst at any given moment. His left ankle that was in a brace was also throbbing. Right now, it would be very hard for him to put much weight on that ankle.
I will never do 100 push-ups in the morning ever again, was what he was thinking at the moment. He crawled over to his futon, used his inhaler, and lay there for another 10 minutes before he was fine again. His arms were a little sore, as well as his chest, but he felt 130 times better. His ankle wasn’t bothering him anymore, so he decided to take off his brace.
After he took it off, which he only needs to wear while playing tennis and sleeping, he took a quick shower and put on his favorite blue and grey shirt and khaki shorts. Then, he ate a quick brunch and rode in the van with his family to the airport to meet Jennifer and John LeVole.
On the way to the airport, Levi and Olivia listened to some classic rock music on Levi’s music player. Victoria was texting Louise and Elizabeth. Evelyn Maeve did nothing. She just stared into space. And, of course, their parents were in the front seat conversing about the time the whole family was about to have with their relatives. The little girl put her head against Levi’s shoulder.
“Wevi,” she spoke.
“What?” her older brother asked.
“Hi. What are you doing?”
“Nothing. What are you doing?”
“Listening to music.”
“What kind of music?”
“Music. More music. Even more music.”
The two kids couldn’t help but laugh at their own comment. Levi’s response was way too ambiguous, but it appeared to be humorous to both Levi and Evelyn Maeve. Seventeen minutes later….
At the airport.
A lady and a man ran up to the Cranston’s out of nowhere. The lady, Aunt Jennifer, is a heavy-set lady with bright red hair. She must’ve dyed it. She also seems to be the very-bubbly-to-the-point-of-almost-being-obnoxious type. Or, at least, that’s how Levi perceived her when he was a toddler. They both have so much in common it’s scary, but Aunt Jennifer is much more happy-go-lucky than Levi.
Uncle John, on the other hand, is not bubbly at all. He is very much of a stickler when it comes to time. Of course, when their flight was delayed, he was upset because he expected to be at the Cranston’s house at around two o’clock in the afternoon when, in fact, that was when he and his wife got off the plane.
Everyone greeted each other right after they left the plane and retrieved their luggage. Then, Jennifer and John had to get a rental car and followed their relatives home. Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve decided to go with their aunt and uncle to pick up their rental car. Once they picked up their car, they made some decent conversation.
“So, you guys are out of school now?” Aunt Jennifer questioned.
“Yup,” Levi answered.
“What grades are you in now?”
“I’m in tenth grade, and Levi is a freshman,” Olivia answered.
“Are you both glad you’re out of school?”
“Very. This year was good, but I had everything happen to me in a matter of months,” said Levi.
“Yes. This year was very eventful,” Olivia added.
The four made casual conversation until they approached downtown Valparaiso and then Elmhurst Avenue. They all entered the house, and Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve helped put Jennifer’s and John’s luggage away. Then, they all thought that now would be an ideal time to relax. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve spent some time in the kitchen with Jennifer and John. Levi sat sideways on the couch, he decided to just relax and watch one of his most favorite movies until Evelyn Maeve had come into the common area and lie on top of him. He ended up turning off the movie since he had a six-year-old in the same room. She curled herself up into a little ball and lay against his chest, and all the air was knocked out of him once she did this.
“OH GOD! I CAN’T FREAKING BREATHE!” Levi exclaimed. “WHEN DID YOU GET SO HEAVY ALL OF A SUDDEN?!”
Evelyn Maeve blushed.
“I wuv you, big brother,” she said quietly.
“Awwww. I wuv you, too.”
It was quiet for about two minutes. Evelyn Maeve pressed her ear firmly against her older brother’s chest. He didn’t seem to mind this, as he was wrapped up in his thoughts; particularly those thoughts regarding Mackenzie. He was in a state of peace, and so was Evelyn Maeve, who then decided to break their mutual silence after a couple minutes.
“Levi, your heart’s talking to me.”
“Is it fast?”
Levi felt for his pulse on his neck. After concentrating for a few seconds, he wrapped his arm around his younger sister.
“Yep. It’s a little fast.”
Aunt Jennifer eventually came into the room. She was in her bubbly mood. Levi and Evelyn Maeve had talked about putting on some kid-friendly shows, but that couldn’t possibly happen with so many people in the house, and with three more people coming later.
“Uncle John wants to know if you want to play tennis with him,” Aunt Jennifer said.
“Sure! When?” Levi answered as his eyes lit up.
“Now! He wants to see how much you’ve improved!”
Time to play tennis. Uncle John and Levi went over to the courts to play some intense matches for a while. Who knew when they would come home? Probably closer to nine o’clock. And who knew what everyone else was doing at home? They were probably not just sitting at home watching movies from the 1980’s.
After a few hours of playing some intense tennis….
It was now nine o’clock in the evening, and Levi and their uncle came home. Levi’s dad was watching his favorite TV show.
Their mom, Jennifer, Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve were in downtown Valparaiso at this time, and Levi and their uncle came home from the intense tennis practice. Then, they invited Levi’s dad to get food with them.
“Would you like to go to our favorite fast food joint tonight?” Levi’s dad asked.
“Now?” Levi asked back.
“I’m up for that!”
Levi, their uncle, and their dad drove to get some food, came home, and stayed up until two o’clock in the morning.
And what a fun night it was.
The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes
Levi Cranston and Jack Andrews (The Magic Video Game) were spending the afternoon inside. They wanted to walk around downtown Valparaiso, Indiana. However, at the same time, they didn't want to. Besides, they had already gone out earlier today. They wanted to get their video game fix. And Levi had already worn his fedora out. They all went to the park in downtown to hang out, and Levi brought his fedora from a Halloween costume from high school. Jack, of course, wore one of his beanies.
His favorite one, actually. The one that is a bluish purplish color.
Asad Prejesh and David Savino were coming over later. They had a few things they had to get done around their houses beforehand. But then they were planning to join the video game party with Jack and Levi.
When they were out earlier this afternoon, David was wearing a Hawaiian print shirt, khaki shorts, and flip flops. Asad wore nothing special. Unlike David, and unlike Levi, to a degree, Asad just decided to wear his everyday clothes. Consisting of a green and red t-shirt and plaid shorts. Even though it is nowhere near Christmas, Asad thought that the shirt might still be perfectly acceptable. He didn't care. And, honestly, Jack, Levi, and David could not have cared less either.
They wanted to stay in and play video games. And they also wanted to go to a bar or two or three. But decisions would have to come into play on this one. For whatever reason, Levi was starting to battle a summer cold. He was feeling much better today than he did yesterday. However, he still felt some congestion in his chest. This was probably going to be one of those colds that was really not going to hit him too badly. Somehow, he must have gotten it from Victoria, his oldest full-blood sister. She had been sick all weekend. But Levi slept it off.
"ELEVEN!" Levi shouted out of the blue.
"ELEVEN!" Jack shouted a few seconds after Levi.
"It's a tie, man."
"I know! When am I going to make twelve?"
"I'll probably make twelve a couple seconds before you do," Levi remarked.
"Don't be so arrogant," Jack said with a French accent.
"I'm not being arrogant," Levi said with a French accent.
"If you are not being arrogant, then what are you being?"
Levi was lying on his stomach. Jack was sitting upwards with his back against the couch. They were, of course, trying to beat each other's high score. All this while waiting for David and Asad to come over to the house.
The cats, Duchess and Prussia, were sleeping on top of the couch. Duchess was against one of the couch pillows. And Prussia was on top of the couch. Typical places for the cats to sleep. Jack and Levi were still playing video games. Apparently there wasn't a lot of time to spend with the sleeping cats.
As of a few days ago, Jack has started dating Kelley Schwann, a girl originally from Austria. Even though she was born there, she came here at the age of twelve and has lived in Valpo with her family ever since. Jack and Kelley have known each other since middle school, but they weren't extremely close until a couple months ago.
Levi and Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi's girlfriend of about ten years, had decided to set up a blind date for Jack and Kelley. After this had happened, Jack and Kelley knew for a fact that it was meant to be.
Six dates later, Jack made it official. Kelley is Jack's first girlfriend. Mackenzie is Levi's first girlfriend. Now, David would need to find a girlfriend, and Asad would need to find one as well.
Whenever the time would be right.
"How are things going with Kelley so far?" Levi asked Jack, still waiting for Asad and David to come over.
"So far, so good," Jack replied. "She wants to go bowling later this week."
"I think she actually lives a couple blocks away from you."
"Does she?" Levi remarked.
"Yellowstone Road," Jack said.
"And not exactly close to downtown as me."
Levi and Jack were still playing video games for a little while longer. They weren't quite sure when David and Asad were coming over. They didn't give Levi and Jack many ideas on when they'd be here. However, they were all in the mood for cosmic bowling later tonight. That was a given for sure.
A few minutes later, Levi heard a knock on the door. Jack was playing on his turn anyway so Levi could go up and open the door for whoever was supposed to be here.
No one else was home at the moment. The kids' dad was playing in a garage band this evening. Their mom was with Evelyn Maeve, who is Levi’s younger sister, and her friend, Randy Morrison. Victoria and Olivia went on double dates with their boyfriends and older half-sister, Louise Baranovsky and her husband, Brian Soriano. And the kids' other half-sister, Elizabeth Baranovsky, was in Crown Point with her husband, Paul Weiner. They live there, so they probably just planned to spend the evening downtown.
So it was just Jack and Levi at the moment. Unless whoever was at the door so happened to be Asad and David. Levi opened the door. And he found out for himself who happened to be at the front door.
"Oh hi, guys," Levi greeted at the front door.
"What's going on, man?" Asad replied, sounding cool.
"Jack and I were just playing vid'ya games. Wanna join?"
"No. I don't wanna play no vid'ya games."
"Well then...." Levi remarked, playing into it.
"Of course I wanna play vid'ya games!" Asad exclaimed, then laughing at his own cheesy joke.
"Then do you guys wanna go bowling afterwards?"
"Yes, yes, of course."
"Then, what else?"
"That's up to you guys."
David and Asad must have changed clothes when they went back to their houses. Well, David must have really been done with what he was wearing earlier. Instead of wearing his Hawaiian print shirt, he wore his high school tennis shirt and khaki shorts. Asad wore the same clothes that he had on earlier, but he wore white socks. Before that, he was barefoot and wearing manly flip flops.
Asad and David joined Jack and Levi in playing video games. They had a little time to spare until they'd decide to do something else. After all, it was only 4:30 in the afternoon. They'd probably do dinner before bowling. And then they'd decide after that.
Asad was the designated driver, if the other three decided to go for a beer or two. Even though he likes to drink sometimes, Asad doesn't like beer. He figured Jack and Levi would want to try something new. And David may or may not go for a drink tonight, depending on what he might be in the mood for. But no one was thinking that far ahead yet.
"Hey guys," Jack said out of the blue.
"Yeah?" David replied for everyone else.
"Want to get burgers from that one place on the north side of town?"
"WHAT DID I JUST HEAR?!" Levi shouted, sounding excited.
"We're thinking about getting burgers tonight, brah," Asad remarked.
"That one place where we went for Rhody's birthday!" Jack exclaimed.
"So everyone says 'much yes' too?"
"Let's do it," Asad remarked.
Even though the four boys knew what they wanted for dinner, they didn't think much else about it for a while. They still wanted to play video games until they were finally hungry. They were getting there, but they didn't want to go out yet. It was now 4:45, so they all thought that might be a little too early to get dinner. And they wanted to hit up the bowling alley at nine o'clock so that they could do cosmic bowling. And then possibly play some arcade games after that.
"Hey, Levi," Jack got his best friend's attention.
"Yeah?" Levi replied.
"Chicken butt!" Jack exclaimed, then laughing hysterically.
"Very funny," Levi said, then laughing as well.
"I have to always remind myself to never play that game with you again!"
"You always fall for it, you goof!"
Jack and Levi were on the floor laughing hysterically. Asad and David couldn't help but watch them laugh until they'd cry. And then Asad and David laughed at Jack and Levi laugh until they'd cry. Probably one of the funniest things that could happen to them. It has happened to them before. And it will most likely happen to them again.
"Why do they do this to themselves?" David asked Asad.
"I really don't know," Asad replied, shaking his head and laughing to himself.
"They could change it up a bit, too, you know."
"TURKEY BUTT!!!!" David shouted at the top of his lungs.
"DANG IT, DAVID!!!!" Asad shouted at the top of his lungs.
"You're wondering why I'm doing this to you."
"Yes, I am!"
"Because Jack did it to Levi."
"I had an initial reaction to that, but I'm not gonna say it."
Now, Jack, Levi, Asad, and David were on the floor laughing very hard. They didn't really know what was so funny, other than the fact that they had a recurring one-liner hit them in the face.
Then again, maybe not.
The four boys could not play video games anymore. Basically because of what they did to each other and to themselves. They were still on the floor laughing very hard.
When will this all end?
And then they all heard the front door open again. This time around, it was Mr. Cranston, Levi's dad. He just came back from band practice. He donned a white t-shirt, a black vest, and a black fedora. He was ready to rock and roll.
"I see that we have a sea of laughing guys here," he commented, then Levi heard him and got up off the floor.
"Yes, we were. You're back from practice early. It's like five o'clock....almost," Levi said.
"Well, your mom wanted me to go out to dinner with her, Evelyn Maeve, and Randy."
"Oh. Sweet. When is your performance?"
"Nine o'clock tonight. At our friend's house on Emmetsburg," Mr. Cranston said. The other three boys stopped laughing. They needed to take a breather now.
"Oh. Okay. We'll be there," Levi replied.
"What plans do you have beforehand?"
"We're also going out to eat and then bowling. Who knows after that?"
"Alright. We'll see you guys tonight. A couple of the songs that we're playing are those that you requested."
From The Crazy Chicken Escapade
It started out as a great day, as normal. What would not make a nice summer day so great? One would assume that the only thing to make a summer day not so great would be the menacing raincloud that normally lurks behind the sun. Rain was not on the radar today, so that was a sign that today would be well spent doing something productive. And Dacston knew that he had company today.
Two acquaintances of the dinosaurs’, who go by the names of Jack Enjille and Angela, were coming over for coffee hour. Or, in Andrew’s case, tea hour. He is not a huge fan of coffee. And, for that matter, neither are David or Levi.
Andrew remembered Jack Enjille and Angela from the journey to Galavanti Island when he visited the dinosaurs with his siblings. David and Levi, however, had no idea who Jack Enjille and Angela were at this time. But they would possibly get to meet them today.
It was now noon, and the two guests were going to be here any time. The three boys made sweet and sour chicken and rice for lunch, while they were waiting for the party to get started. Then, just as David, Andrew, and Levi were setting the table, there was a knock on the door. Valpatic opened the door and let the two guests inside.
“Hello, good people,” Jack Enjille greeted at the front door.
“Hello,” said Dacston and Jokie in unison.
“My name is Jack Enjille, and this is my partner in crime, Angela.”
“Pleased to meet you all,” said Angela.
“So, what brings you to Galavanti Island on this glorious day, besides coming to our humble abode?” Dacston asked the two guests.
“Well, we are looking for a place to put our strawberry lemonade business. Today is the first day that we would operate.”
“Hopefully somewhere shady,” Jack remarked.
“And somewhere that has benches. We’d like people to stay a little longer than normal.”
“Because of how amazing strawberry lemonade is?” Valpatic asked.
“Yes, and they will want more strawberry lemonade!”
Before lunch, Jack Enjille and Angela brought out their ingredients and made their own strawberry lemonade in the kitchen. Five minutes passed quickly, and they brought out a delicate pitcher of the delightful lemonade. The table was already set, and everyone decided to have lunch now. While everyone was at the table, eating their delicious sweet and sour chicken with rice, they did not make any conversation; that was how hungry they all were. Not even the world “my” was said for the next fifteen minutes.
Then, after those fifteen minutes passed, David, Andrew, and Levi found themselves cleaning up. Dacston and Valpatic talked to Jack Enjille about his potential business. Jokie and Sammy decided to take a dip in the pool. After the table was cleaned up, and the dishes were put away, Andrew and Levi decided to do what they often do: play classic video games. David wanted to have some time to himself and go on a walk. And Angela fell asleep. With her head up in a weird position.
“Angela is a weird lady,” Levi noted.
“Because of her hair?” Andrew questioned.
“I realized. Her hair is orange when she is awake, and then it turns to purple when she is sleeping. She is like a chameleon.”
“Wow. I never noticed that,” Levi remarked.
“I thought it was pretty interesting,” Andrew stated.
“To change the subject….where’s David?”
“I just realized he wasn’t here.”
“I did as well.”
Fifteen minutes later, Andrew and Levi were hoping to do something out of the ordinary. They had known that David had gone for a walk, but they thought that he might have come back by now. Then again, maybe not. The two boys decided to go and try to find him. They also noticed that Dacston, Valpatic, and Jack Enjille were gone, so the strawberry lemonade business was probably going to launch today. Angela, of course, was still sleeping; her hair was purple, and she was still in the same awkward position.
Andrew and Levi had walked around the area for a few minutes, and there was no sign of David. They weren’t quite sure where to look beyond where they were. However, they saw a walking path near a bush, so they decided to take that walking path as far as it could go in hopes of finding their friend. While walking on the path, they heard the distinct sound of a person’s feet hitting the pavement in a fast pace. Then, that same person tagged Andrew and Levi on the shoulders. When the two boys turned around to see who would do such a thing….
Andrew and Levi both realized it was David. They were obviously relieved.
“David! Where were you?!” Levi asked their friend.
“Oh, I got a strawberry lemonade from a vendor,” David said.
“What?! Where are they? I want one!”
“I want one, too!” Andrew exclaimed.
“The vendor is right around the corner,” said David.
“We should go over and get ourselves one. Come to think of it, I’m pretty thirsty,” Levi remarked.
“We can go over there if you’d like.”
“Like a strawberry lemonade!”
“Good one, David. Good one.”
After laughing at that joke, the three boys ran as quickly as they could to the same strawberry lemonade vendor. It really wasn’t that far away from where they were, so what the heck? It was summer anyway, and high school freshmen could have a little childish fun, now couldn’t they? David, Andrew, and Levi decided to race each other to the vendor, which was perhaps a half-mile away. The three boys were all having quite a lot of fun on their way to get some strawberry lemonade, and it was moments like these that made summer amazing.
Before they knew it, David, Levi, and Andrew had made it to the strawberry lemonade vendor. Andrew had won the race to get here, and so he definitely felt the need to celebrate his victory. Even though David and Levi did not win, they still wanted a strawberry lemonade as well. All three boys wanted something refreshing, and this would definitely do the trick. Upon arriving at the vendor, they noticed some familiar faces, including Dacston’s, Valpatic’s, Jack Enjille’s, and….Angela’s? She must have woken up from her awkward nap. And her hair was a reddish orange again.
“What will it be for you boys?” Angela asked the three boys.
“I was actually here a few minutes ago,” David remarked.
“Two strawberry lemonades, for me and my buddy, Andrew,” Levi said, somehow sounding like his dad.
“Two strawberry lemonades coming up. Oh, and by the way, today is the day when all strawberry lemonades are on the house. Just consider yourselves lucky that you came today,” Angela explained.
“Sweet!” Andrew exclaimed.
“Like a strawberry lemonade,” Levi remarked, making light of an old joke.
“Good one, Levi. Good one.”
“Our strawberry lemonades are free!”
“That is exciting, to say the least!”
“Your strawberry lemonades will be out in a jiffy,” Angela said to Andrew and Levi.
David, Andrew, and Levi did not wait two minutes for Angela to create the sweet and tangy goodness. Apparently the business had been booming on the first day. Even Jack Enjille was surprised at the turnout; then again, not quite shocked. He knew that, as a team, they could do a well enough job of strategizing and making sure their products were perfect. Andrew could hear Jack Enjille mumble the number 309.
That number probably meant the number of customers that they’ve had thus far. Not too bad for a few hours into the first day on the job. Dacston, Valpatic, and Jack Enjille were conversing about their success, while Angela gave the boys strawberry lemonade in green and red cups, Andrew’s and Levi’s favorite colors respectively. Incidentally, David’s strawberry lemonade was served in a blue cup, which happens to be his favorite color. After Andrew and Levi received their strawberry lemonades, they each took a sip.
“This strawberry lemonade is amazing,” Levi remarked to Andrew. David ordered himself a second helping.
“I know it is,” Andrew replied.
“There has to be a secret recipe or something.”
“I was thinking the exact same thing. What do you think it could be?”
“I’m not sure. What do you think it is?” Levi asked.
“I don’t know wha….wait. There’s a label on the cup that we were all unaware of,” Andrew remarked.
“Oh really. What does it say?”
“Hold on, brother!”
“Is it in small text?”
“It is, actually.”
The boys, being as curious as they always have been, decided to take a look at the label. Levi squinted at the small text until he could really make out what it said. Then, Andrew followed suit, realizing the same thing as Levi. David was just enjoying his own strawberry lemonade. The only thing he wanted right now was to enjoy the strawberry lemonade while on a seemingly fictitious island and then go swimming in a nearby lake. However, Andrew and Levi had their own priorities straight. They really wanted to know what the label said, and they were going to do whatever they set their mind to do. David would eventually, but he just wanted to live in the moment. Andrew and Levi wanted to find out for themselves what the label said, and then they would live in the moment. After spending all but five minutes squinting eyes and trying to concentrate on reading the label, the two interested boys somehow laughed to themselves.
“That’s interesting,” Levi remarked after he and Andrew read the label.
“David, did you know that there is a label on the cup that gives us the recipe to make this strawberry lemonade?” Andrew asked their friend.
“No, I didn’t know that,” David replied.
“Well, there is. See for yourself.”
“It was very good, though.”
The three kids finished their strawberry lemonades, and then they decided to run back to Dacston’s humble abode. Why not, even though it might not have been the best idea in mind? Oh well, the three boys just wanted to have some competition amongst themselves. David and Levi took a few puffs on their inhalers, while Andrew was waiting patiently. Then, he started off without the two asthmatics, who soon ran after him.
The three boys were screaming and shouting and just having a crazy time. They probably ran a good half-mile at least. Maybe even more than that, but the time just passed very quickly. However, the half-mile that they had gone had taken them a different route and away from Dacston’s house. What the heck. David, Andrew, and Levi were having some childish fun, even though they’re nearly fifteen years old, so they just wanted to live in the moment. However, after running as quickly as they could for a few minutes, they all grew very tired, and they all stopped to take a breather.
“My heart’s pounding,” Andrew remarked.
“My heart’s pounding, too,” Levi said.
“My heart’s pounding, three,” David stated.
“How’s everyone doing, though?” Andrew asked.
“Fine, I think. I don’t want to run back to the house. My ankle’s sore,” Levi replied.
“I’m sore all over,” David said plainly.
The three kids did not try to run back to Dacston’s house because they weren’t quite sure where they were. However, they saw a strip mall across the street from a park where they found themselves. There were eight businesses in that strip mall: Tomato’s Ice Cream Parlor, Tortellini’s Pizza Place, Tortilla’s Elote Shop, Toledo’s Chili Market, Tonelli’s Spaghetti Shop, Today’s Video Games, Toby’s Corned Beef Factory, and, last but not least, Bart’s Novelty Store. David, Andrew, and Levi saw a pattern in the names of the businesses until the very last one, but they only looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. Businesses can come and go. And, then again, these businesses probably did well enough that they didn’t need to move elsewhere.
The three boys, being as curious as they always have been, decided to check out Today’s Video Games. There were probably some very good games in stock, even though they were most likely from….today, or at least in the present era. David, Andrew, and Levi did not run to the strip mall; they walked. They were very excited to see and possibly play the video games. Until a T-rex, a brachiosaurus, a velociraptor, and a stegosaurus, who were not Dacston and his comrades, stopped them right in their tracks.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Selfish Arnie, the red T-rex shouted at the three boys.
“Uh, we’re going….uh….to the pizza place! Want to come with?” Andrew replied, feeling uneasy.
“No, sillyhead! There’s no pizza place around for another thirty minutes or so!”
“Then, what’s the name of that one place over there?” Levi asked, as he pointed toward Tortellini’s Pizza Place.
“That is Tomato’s Ice Cream Parlor, sillyhead.”
“Tomato’s Ice Cream Parlor is right next to Tortellini’s,” David remarked plainly.
“I don’t see a Tortellini’s anywhere. I see a Tomato’s Ice Cream Parlor and a Tortilla’s Elote Shop, among many others.”
“It’s right there.”
No one said anything for a few minutes. This was a very awkward moment for the dinosaurs, as well as the boys. Andrew knew Selfish Arnie and his comrades from a previous adventure in Galavanti Island, and, frankly, Dacston’s cousin is pretty….um….selfish. And, as a matter of fact, so were Bronco, the brachiosaurus, Spike, the stegosaurus, and Steve, the velociraptor. The boys were going to make another attempt at returning to Dacston’s house before Selfish Arnie and his comrades stopped them. Again.
“Say, do you happen to know where Darveda went?” Bronco, the brachiosaurus, asked the boys.
Andrew pointed to the northwest.
“Wait. What do you need Darveda for?” David asked the menacing dinosaurs.
“We wanted to take the saxophones from the chicken community, since we lost all of Galavanti Island’s saxophones to my menacing cousin, Dacston,” Selfish Arnie boomed.
Moments later, Levi turned away from the dinosaurs and toward David and Andrew.
“We need to go back,” Levi told David and Andrew.
From Rockybado 3: The Invasion of the Naughty Blue Aliens
David and Brody were in a spaceship since they had been separated from Rockybado and their other friends. Their plan was to go back to Texamilio to reunite with them. This spaceship took off from Benjamilio and flew to random places. An automated voice boomed out of nowhere.
“Care for a hot fudge sundae?” the voice questioned the two boys.
David and Brody looked at each other for a few seconds. They hadn’t eaten much today because they were so focused on finding the Naughty Blue Aliens and the McSmith’s that food was, for whatever rare reason, not on the boys’ minds. David and Brody agreed that they were both extremely hungry, and they could go for a hot fudge sundae just about now.
“Two hot fudge sundaes,” David answered.
“Okay. Would you like sprinkles on your hot fudge sundaes?” the voice asked.
Brody shook his head.
“No sprinkles on either sundae,” David replied.
“Most assuredly, you would want sprinkles on your hot fudge sundae,” the voice said, trying to reassure the boys.
“No. I want no sprinkles on either sundae.”
“Of course, you….”
“You must be trying to imply that we want sprinkles on our hot fudge sundaes when, in fact, we don’t,” David remarked.
“Everyone wants sprinkles on their hot fudge sundaes,” said the voice.
“Well, we don’t.”
“Lester, get them.”
The two boys could hear an army of Naughty Blue Aliens marching toward their general direction. There were a grand total of thirty aliens in green and red garb, even though Christmas is half a year away. Their hats were yellow golf caps, and David and Brody had to quietly laugh about their absurd attire. Otherwise, they felt pretty apprehensive. Their hands started to get sweaty, and they weren’t quite sure what to do next.
“All this for not wanting sprinkles on our hot fudge sundaes?” Brody questioned.
“Apparently,” David answered.
The “army” of aliens entered the room. They had straight faces, and they were probably not going to take kindly to any jokes whatsoever. David and Brody tried to keep straight faces as well. It was very hard, though, because of the mixed feelings of being nervous and just thinking that the aliens’ uniforms were stupid.
“Seize them, Lester,” the voice boomed.
A few more moments later….
“You boys are coming with me,” Lester announced.
“Where are we going?” Brody questioned.
“Dumigal. It’s a huge city,” Lester announced somewhat rudely.
They said nothing more until it happened. What happened? The aliens dropped the two boys off at two different locations. It was 11:56 at night, and the boys had no idea where they were. It looked like a normal urban street at night. David was located on the north end of the street, and Brody was on the south end. However, the street ran for nine blocks, and, at night, David and Brody would have a much harder time finding each other.
David looked around him. He didn’t see much at first. Then, he decided to peer into one of the houses. This specific house had a lot of graffiti on the outside, and it looked like it was going to collapse at any given moment. David cautiously looked through the window. There were at least ten aliens wearing sombreros in this household. One of them, who appeared to be the mother, saw David first.
“Oh, look, mi familia! There’s a stalker looking through the window. That good-for-nothing macho is a criminal and is up to no good,” said the lady.
Moments later, the whole family screamed and ran in circles inside the house. David quickly stepped away from the house. Then, the whole family ran toward him and started shouting, “Ay Carrumba!” Half of them had water guns. Two of them carried baseball bats. One had a mace. Once David saw the mace, he tried to increase his running speed. He ran for five blocks, and then he found a tree to hide behind. The sombrero alien family didn’t even glance at the tree. They kept on running.
David’s heart was pounding so hard that it was painful for him to breathe. He was breathing so hard and focused only on his recovery. Then, he noticed an elderly female alien right beside him.
“Boo,” said the lady.
David screamed like a little girl.
“What do you think you’re doing on my here property?” the lady questioned David.
David was very scared. He did not answer.
“Beat it, chump!” the lady shouted.
David was still in shock. The lady put ammo in her gun and charged it. David slowly walked away. Once he heard the old lady fire her gun, he started running. The old lady kept firing at him, but she always missed. Once he evaded her grasp, he got a better view of the neighborhood.
The neighborhood looked like a typical urban neighborhood. However, one house was on fire, and it didn’t seem to phase anyone. Nearly half of the houses had graffiti on them. There were several crime scenes. There were five gang members walking around and looking through people’s homes. They were going south on the street. They kept singing some songs by an idolized rapper and then a random song that they probably made up. In order to avoid the gang, David ran north on the street.
He made sure the gang didn’t see him.
There were nine police cars following each other to a probable crime scene. David felt so uneasy to the point that he shuddered. He didn’t want to just stand there and get caught. He wasn’t sure where else to hide. Then, he found a bush to hide in for a few minutes. The same family who kept on shouting, “Ay Carrumba!” passed the bush.
David let out a huge sigh of relief and felt for his heartbeat. Now, he didn’t hear anything else going on in the neighborhood that would bring up attention. Meanwhile, Brody was trying to hide from the sombrero alien family, the old lady, and the random gang. There was a naughty blue alien dressed in orange. He had a revolver and pointed it at Brody’s chest.
“Mr. Little Kid, you’re dead,” the alien said.
Brody didn’t move.
“Mr. Little Kid, you’re dead,” the alien said again.
Brody was breathing very hard.
“MR. LITTLE KID, YOU’RE DEAD!” the alien shouted.
David crept up behind the orange-clad alien. Brody finally saw David; he felt a huge sensation of relief, knowing that his brother was right here, that he found him in the nick of time. With this, Brody had to think, and he had to think very quickly.
“WAIT!” Brody shouted.
The alien’s eyebrows rose. Brody grabbed the gun out of the alien’s hands and pointed it at his chest. He didn’t just point the gun at his heart; he actually pressed it firmly against his chest. He could feel his pounding heartbeat through the gun.
“I wanted to be a computer engineer. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to study computers and engineering. So, I wanted to be a computer engineer. But it’s gone. All gone. Bye, world. It was nice knowing you while you were young,” Brody said in a serious tone.
While he said this, he walked backwards behind a bush. Neither David or the alien saw him. Then, they heard the gun go off. David’s mouth dropped. The alien acted indifferent.
“Oh. He’s dead. I’m leaving,” said the alien.
He left, and David walked over to the bush where Brody was. He found his younger brother lying on his back. He was breathing very hard. His right hand was on his chest, most likely feeling for his heartbeat; and his left hand was on his stomach, which pulled up his shirt, exposing his belly button.
“Are you okay, Brody?” David questioned his younger brother.
“Are you scared?”
“Don’t be. He’s gone.”
Brody let out a heavy sigh.
“Come on. We need to get out of here.”
David helped Brody get up. Once he got his little brother stable, they each took a puff on their inhalers, and they both started running out of the urban area. They ran from there to the nicest house on the block, which was quite a distance. Well, actually, they stopped at a little park that was surrounded by trees to catch their breath. After running so far, they were breathing very hard, and it took them a while to regain their composures.
“How did you perform your stunt?” David asked.
“I walked backwards, and I had the gun pointed at my chest,” said Brody.
“I know that much.”
“But then, once I was behind the bush, I put the gun over my head. I didn’t actually shoot myself.”
“That was brilliant,” David commented.
“I came up with that idea at the very last minute,” Brody replied.
“It was still brilliant.”
The two young boys continued to run all the way from the park to that house. They could see it from so far away, and they thought that someone from that house could help them. David and Brody were very sore from their long run from the crappy urban area to the decent neighborhood. They knocked on the door and waited for a response. After two minutes, a short pink haired lady in a blue and white checkered dress and white pinafore opened the door.
“Hello, boys. My name is Aunt. Welcome to my humble abode,” she greeted warmly.
“Hey,” David responded.
“Hello,” Brody said politely.
“What can I do for you boys? Food? Drinks? Kitties?” Aunt questioned.
“Can we stay over for the night?” David asked.
“Why, certainly. I need to put these toiletries to good use.”
David and Brody looked at each other and then at Aunt.
“What time is it?” Brody asked. Aunt looked at her watch.
“It’s 1:30 in the morning. Are you ready to call it a night?” she responded.
“Not at all!” Brody answered.
“Neither of us are morning people. I usually wake up at nine o’clock, and Brody normally wakes up whenever,” David said.
“Okay. Good thing I know when, for sure, to expect you guys up,” said Aunt.
“Really?” David asked.
“Consider it a treat,” Aunt said.
David and Brody shrugged their shoulders simultaneously.
“What do you normally do until about two o’clock in the morning?” Aunt asked.
“We play video games,” Brody answered.
“I have an old game console in the common area,” said Aunt.
Both boys high-fived each other. Then, they played video games until four o’clock in the morning. After all, this was the nicest house on the block.
From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
It was just one of those summer days. One of those summer days that could be considered lazy. One of those summer days that could be considered sultry. One of those summer days that could be considered not so motivating. And, one of those summer days that a lot of college students might want to sleep in. Of course, David had that luxury because his full-time job didn’t start until tomorrow. Brody, however, had to be up bright and early because he was going back to his internship today.
It was seven o’clock in the morning, a time when both David and Brody would normally be sleeping on a weekend and in the summer. Their dad came into their room just to wake up Brody, since he knew he needed to be up by now. David was let off the hook. Well, at least for now. He could celebrate his last free day with wine and baklava if he so chose. Brody would have to celebrate later.
Toby was already awake, and most likely playing video games in the common area.
David and Brody looked very comfortable when they were sleeping. David was, as normal, sleeping on his side. His comforter was lying on the floor, and his head was buried under one pillow. His left arm was wrapped around another pillow. Brody, as normal, was sleeping on his stomach. His comforter was also lying on the floor, and their dad found this somewhat humorous.
Their dad realized that he needed to do something in order to get Brody out of bed.
“Wake up, Brody,” Mr. Ingram announced in a sing-song voice.
“No,” Brody replied in his pillow.
“Guess what today is?”
“Time for you to get a watch.”
“Now, you don’t get sassy with me, B-Rodes,” their dad remarked humorously.
“Just let me sleep,” Brody said, his voice muffled by his most comfortable pillow. He moved over on his right side, and he also buried his head under a pillow.
“Today’s your first day back at your internship.”
“Would you like another thirty minutes to sleep?”
Brody nodded in his pillow.
“Okay. But when thirty minutes are up, you’re up. Got it?”
Brody nodded in his pillow again.
Their dad smiled and left. He shook his head because he has always known that David and Brody have never been morning people. Since the two boys were little, their parents knew that the struggle to wake them up would be real.
When Brody was very little, try four years old, he would always pull the funniest gag ever. When he was really sleepy, he would literally fall asleep on the bottom stair and wait for one of their parents to pick him up and carry him to his bed. A few weeks ago, on a weekend when Brody was home from college, he was very tired. He tried pulling the same gag that he did when he was four years old. The boy fell asleep and waited for their mom and dad to pick him up and carry him. However, their mom and dad would not let him get away with it this time around.
When David would finally wake up today, he was probably going to ride his bike over to Brett’s house to practice with the Hawaiian Geeks. He left his guitar at his older brother’s house, so this was perfectly acceptable. Not like the guitar was suddenly going to grow legs and walk off to an unknown land.
As if that could actually happen to begin with.
It was now 7:38 in the morning, and David somehow woke up. Why, though? This was David’s last “free day” before his full-time job started, so he should definitely go back to sleep.
At least he would have more time in the day to actually do something. He could possibly play tennis with a few of his friends, or he could play video games, or he could practice with the Hawaiian Geeks this afternoon.
The possibilities were endless.
“Good morning, David,” Mrs. Ingram said to one of her sons as he walked down the stairs. He looked very sleepy.
“Morning,” David replied feebly.
“You don’t have to go to work until tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah. I wish I could just go back to sleep.”
“At least you will like your job. Well, I hope you will,” she stated.
“I’m sure I will, but I’m so sleepy,” David remarked.
“Well, that will pass.”
“I hope it does. I hate mornings like these.”
“You just hate mornings, right?”
“I absolutely hate mornings.”
David got himself some coffee. Since he was a freshman in college, he has gained interest in coffee. For obvious reasons. He poured himself a cup from the freshly made pot, and he added some French vanilla cream and sugar to it. Even though David still prefers tea over coffee, he thought that coffee would be a good idea for today. Even though David likes coffee more now, Brody still detests it. He has never liked coffee, not even when he was younger. He didn’t like the taste of it. He likes the taste of tea, especially English Breakfast.
Thirty minutes later, Brody was supposed to wake up and get ready for his first day back at the internship. This was going to be a fun time waking up at eight o’clock in the morning. Which is way too early for him.
“Wake up, Brody,” Mr. Ingram said to the sleepyhead, once he returned to the boys’ bedroom with a noisemaker, which was found in a safe place in the kitchen.
“Really?” Brody replied in his pillow.
“Yes, they do,” Mr. Ingram remarked sympathetically.
“Can I stay in bed the whole day?” Brody asked.
“You have your internship today, you know.”
“Don’t meh me, you little sleepyhead!”
Brody couldn’t help but laugh a little.
“Fine. I’m up.”
Brody got out of bed. He wasn’t in an especially great mood, but he knew that he needed to get ready for his internship, after having nearly two weeks off. He took a quick shower, and then he got ready for the day. He came downstairs, wearing his royal blue shirt and jeans. Brody made himself a bowl of cereal with a honeycrisp apple and strawberry yogurt. He said “good morning” to his family and nothing else. He was still trying to wake up before he left for the internship, and they have always known that.
When he was done eating, he left for his internship, which is in Merrillville. After his internship ended for the day, Brody was greatly considering a visit to Dawson’s and Daniela’s apartment, since it is technically on his way back to his house. It took Brody ten minutes to get to his destination. When he finally got there, he walked into the building and saw a slender guy, who is a little taller than he, with a brown mop top and big thick-frame glasses. The typical “nerd” stereotype at its finest.
His name is Dan Mattinson.
“Welcome back, Brody!” Dan greeted one of his interns. There would be two interns this summer: Brody, of course, and Jacob Frank, someone from Merrillville. Brody was going to meet Jacob today, and he was looking forward to it, being the extravert that he is.
“Hey, Dan,” Brody replied.
“Hey! How were your two weeks off?”
“They were relaxing, but I’m glad that I’m back here.”
“That’s good to hear. Jacob is coming in about thirty minutes,” Dan remarked.
“Awesome,” Brody said quickly, not putting much thought into what he said.
“Do you remember much from your first couple weeks here?”
“If I see it, I probably will.”
“Good. I figured that you and Jacob are fast learners.”
“I’m sure we are.”
Dan showed Brody around the area, just to double-check that the intern remembered everything from two weeks ago. These two weeks off were completely unexpected, but they were well worth it, from Brody’s and Jacob’s perspectives. Dan and Brody talked about how well their two weeks went for about thirty minutes. Then, as expected, the other intern had arrived.
Brody was pretty sure that he was going to make a new friend today. Jacob seemed friendly enough when he first walked into the place. However, he seemed a little shy. Jacob is a little shorter than Brody, who is five foot eleven and weighs 130 pounds. Jacob is probably about five foot nine and weighs 170 pounds. He has short brown hair and straight eyebrows, as well as a small gap in his front teeth. At least those were the attributes that Brody noted.
“Hey, Jacob. Welcome,” Dan greeted the other intern.
“Hello,” the other intern responded quickly. By what Brody saw, Jacob appeared to be quite nervous. Dan and Jacob walked over to Brody for the introduction.
“Brody, this is Jacob Frank. Jacob, this is Brody Ingram. I know that you guys are going to make a great team and that you will both be an asset to the company.”
“Hello,” Brody said to Jacob.
“Hello,” Jacob said to Brody.
“Now, Brody, this is Jacob’s first day at the internship. He was on a three-week vacation with his family. They went to Europe. Which countries did you visit in those three weeks?” Dan asked the newer newbie.
“We went to Ireland, France, and Poland. We spent one week in one country,” Jacob responded, suddenly starting to feel comfortable in this environment.
“Nice! I’ve been to England before. My dad and his family are originally from there,” Brody remarked.
“Oh wow. Where in England?”
The first couple hours went by very quickly. Dan introduced Brody and Jacob to the rest of the team, mostly consisting of HR, marketing, accounting, more computer engineers, finance gurus. There were fifteen people altogether at this business, but Brody and Jacob could not perform their internships without Dan around. Brody and Jacob mostly learned the basics of what they were expected to do this summer.
Then, it was time for lunch. Dan encouraged the interns to get something from a quick service restaurant so that they could get to know each other a little better. Brody and Jacob then decided to go to a Mexican grill right off Highway 30. Brody drove Jacob and himself there, and they were going to bring their orders back to the place.
“So, where are you from?” Jacob asked Brody when they left for lunch.
“Crown Point,” Brody remarked. “You?”
“Merrillville. Where are you in college?”
“Valpo. What about you?”
“I’m at Valpo as well. I’m surprised that we haven’t met,” Jacob said plainly.
“Nice! Do you live on campus?” Brody asked.
“Yes, I do. You actually look like someone I know.”
“I have a cousin who graduated from the same high school as you. Her name is Kellie Wickes.”
“Not who I was thinking of.”
“Then who is it?” Brody asked.
“Andreas Bianco,” Jacob answered.
“Don’t know him.”
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