From The Magic Video Game
It was the next morning, and Olivia just woke up. She looked at the clock, which said eight o’clock in the morning. She looked over at Levi, who was still sleeping soundly. He looked as if he was at peace because his breathing was very steady.
He was sleeping on his side, and he was snoring quietly. Olivia could hear him snoring, so she decided to grab a book, which was on the coffee table, and she hit him on the back. This woke him up quickly. Not only did he wake up to that; he woke up in a horrible mood. Levi gave his older sister a deathly stare.
“Can you grow up, you immature weirdo?” Levi asked as he glared at Olivia.
Olivia couldn’t help but laugh a little at Levi’s reaction. She was pretty sure he would react in that similar fashion, given that he is not at all a morning person. She then decided to go to the kitchen to get a bottle of cold water, since she was pretty thirsty.
When Olivia returned to the bedroom, Levi was lying on his back, with his hands behind his head. His shirt was pulled up to his chest, and Olivia was pretty sure she could see her younger brother’s heart beating against his skin. It was pretty creepy, but also pretty cool. Olivia decided to set her alarm clock on her phone and lay it against Levi’s chest. Her phone was moving up and down with Levi’s fast heartbeat.
The alarm clock on the phone went off at 9:30, and Levi felt it go off on his chest. He picked the phone up and threw it across the room. Levi basically found himself crying while fighting to go back to sleep. He was now lying on his stomach, and Olivia had to take deeper measures to try to get him out of bed.
Today was going to be super productive.
Olivia now found a long knitting needle in a random place in the room, which was overall pretty messy. She used it to poke Levi in the armpit. He jumped quickly and turned over to glance at Olivia.
“Owie,” Levi responded feebly.
“When are you gonna get out of bed?” Olivia asked.
“When pigs can fly.”
“I think we’ve already established that.”
“You think we’ve already established what?”
“Pigs can fly.”
“Are you joking?”
Levi didn’t move. He still lay on his stomach, mindless of what was going on today. He didn’t really care about that right now. All he wanted was to stay in bed and get as much sleep as he could. It’s summer. What else is better in the summer than getting too much sleep?
“Okay? I am going to get out of bed when Sasquatch invades the planet,” Levi said.
“A lot of people don’t know who Sasquatch is.”
Levi hit his head with his hand. How could anyone not know who in the sam hill Sasquatch was? He tried going back to sleep. Once again. This time, his hands were underneath his chest, therefore squishing them. He could feel his own heart beating in his hands, like a small bird trying to flap its wings.
“Seriously?! When are you going to get out of bed? We have a ton of fun things to do today, bro!” Olivia said cheerfully.
“I know. When the cure for Kleine Levin Syndrome is found,” Levi answered matter-of-factly.
“Again, most people don’t know what Kleine Levin Syndrome even is.”
Olivia had to shrug her shoulders once again. She found that it was obviously very hard to wake up her younger brother. Levi, of course, made a few more attempts at falling asleep. Olivia let him sleep for another five minutes. After those five minutes were up, she felt obligated to poke him again in the side with the knitting needle.
“Owie,” Levi responded, this time not so feebly.
“That’s what you get when you’re a sleepyhead who loves to sleep in,” said Olivia.
“Fine. I’ll get up.”
He sat up on his bed with his eyes closed. Poor Levi. Of course it would take him a long time to really snap out of it after he was roused out of bed by his older sister. When Levi finally came to his full senses, he felt like he had just jumped into a pool.
“Ewwww….I’m so sweaty,” he said.
“Ewwww….you so sweaty,” his sister repeated jokingly.
And it was true. Levi finally got up and looked at himself in the mirror. He was a total sweat bomb that invaded Wakahakai. His hair looked damp and messy. He still had streaks of sweat pouring off his face. He had sweat stains on the front of his shirt and his armpits.
“Yeah. This is gross. I’m gonna shower. Now,” Levi said to Olivia.
“Yeah. That is gross. Go shower. Now,” Olivia answered back.
Levi picked out some clean clothes from a drawer and headed toward the shower. A few seconds after he had left the bedroom, Olivia had to laugh again. As a matter of fact, the room was actually pretty cold. There was no way Levi could have broken out in a sweat this morning.
Olivia must have had another trick up her sleeve.
She poured water on his armpits and shirt right before he woke up. Not to mention that she also dumped some of the bottle’s contents in his hair. She obviously did very well on this trick. Levi would be dumbfounded once he found out about the feigned sweat.
It was fifteen minutes later, and Levi came back into the room. He was shirtless, and he was wearing his plaid shorts. He walked over to the coffee table and took a drink out of the bottle of water.
“Were you thirsty?” Olivia asked Levi.
Levi looked at Olivia suspiciously. Now, he thought she was up to something. He put the water bottle down and noticed that it was empty. Surely he didn’t drink all of the water in the bottle.
“Olivia?” Levi questioned.
“Yeah?” Olivia replied.
“Did you….pour some water on me before I woke up?”
“And you wanted me to think I was sweating?”
Soon after, Marty came into the room. Levi was still lying on the mattress, but he did not make any more attempts to go back to sleep. If he did, he was most likely going to be annoyed by Olivia.
Marty had tall glasses of what looked like pina coladas in his hands. He offered one to both kids. Olivia and Levi both accepted the polar bear’s offer, and they simultaneously put the glass to their lips. After a few dainty sips of the drink, Olivia put her glass on the coffee table. Marty was not so sure whether she really liked the drink or not, or if she just wanted to savor the flavor. Levi, on the other hand, downed the whole pina colada in one sitting.
“I take it that you liked it,” Marty said, primarily to Levi, with a smile on his face.
“Yus,” Levi answered quietly with a smile.
“And you, Olivia?”
“It was good. I didn’t want to just drink it all in one sitting,” Olivia said.
“Well, it’s on the house.”
“Did you get a ladder?” Levi asked.
Everyone looked at Levi after his random question. Five seconds passed, and then they all had to laugh pretty hard. It was funny because of how abrupt it was. Then, Marty had something that he needed to tell Olivia and Levi, and he had to tell them pretty soon.
“We have plans to visit Princess Spaziana,” Marty said.
“W-wait. Is this basically where we rescue the princess? Is this some sort of trick or something of the like?” Levi asked with utmost curiosity.
Levi just shook his head. There was yet one more thing that had to catch his eye. When Levi looked out the window, he saw that there was a lovely aurora display in the sky. He decided to look out the window for quite some time. It was exotic things like this that have always interested him.
Levi’s secret ambition is to take a trip out to Alaska and spot the auroras in the sky, and he wants to take his friends with him. He has jokingly made plans to take his friends to Fairbanks, Alaska, have a campfire, and just look at the auroras. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh, his best friends, said that they would be game for a trip like that. David Savino and the Boca twins hadn’t said anything about this proposition yet, but they would probably rather make a trip to Hawaii. Levi had no idea that auroras even existed around Hawaii. Surely, they don’t. This was probably a figure of imagination.
This really couldn’t be happening.
“Well, we told Princess Spaziana that we would meet her at 2:30 this afternoon at Aurora Mall,” Marty said.
“Speaking of auroras,” Levi said, without paying much attention to what Marty had just said.
Olivia and Marty walked over to the window and also saw the pretty auroras. Right now, there were streaks of turquoise and fuchsia that filled the sky. The two kids have never seen anything of the like before. They were both amazed at what they saw.
“Yep. Wakahakai is the only place around Hawaii where auroras occur. It makes sense that Wakahakai is the best place to live,” Marty said proudly.
“I’d love to live here, if I couldn’t live in Rhode Island,” Olivia said as proudly.
“How is Rhode Island?”
“Amazing. We were both born there, and most of our family resides there.”
“We go to Rhode Island for a few weeks every summer,” Levi said.
“I’d love to go there some time,” Marty said.
“It is amazing to say the least.”
Olivia wrapped her arm around her younger brother, and he, in turn, let out a heavy sigh. Thanks to their small talk about Rhode Island, he really wanted to go there now. Badly. Of course, it was really nice in Wakahakai, hence the auroras, laps of luxury, and whatnot. But Rhode Island is Levi’s second home, and home is always where the heart is.
Levi thought deeply about what Princess Spaziana might look like. She would probably look nothing like his girlfriend, who has basically been an angel sent to him by the Good Man. But curiosity decided to get the best of him, and he had to inquire about her looks.
“Is Princess Spaziana remotely pretty?” he asked.
“Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous,” Marty answered.
“What does she look like?”
“Brown hair, blue eyes, hearty smile, fair skin, big heart, I don’t even know where I can begin on all this. And her middle name is….Aurora.”
From The Magic Video Game
It was October 15th, 2005, and Levi just woke up from sleeping for nine and a half hours. He played video games with two of his four older sisters until two o’clock in the morning. Victoria, 17, and Olivia, 15, woke up at about eight o’clock in the morning to make breakfast. Evelyn Maeve, 5, was keeping Levi company. Their parents had to work. Louise, the oldest, a 25-year-old manager at a business in Crown Point, was working for only half of the day today and would come over at noon.
It was already 11:30 in the morning, and Levi woke up, took a shower, and put on some everyday clothes. When he was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, he looked in the mirror and saw a reflection of himself, an absolute mess. His dark brown hair was messy from sleeping for a long period of time. He had marks all over his arms from moving around too much on the couch while sleeping. Levi was recovering from strep, so he wasn’t quite himself yet.
When he came downstairs, the first thing he grabbed from the refrigerator was a glass of ice cold water. He lay back on the couch, where their cats, Duchess and Prussia, were waiting for him. The cats walked up to Levi, lay on his stomach, and purred. Levi decided to pet them while watching his favorite cartoons.
“Levi, we made our Italian skillet,” Olivia said as she walked into the living room.
“I’m not really that hungry,” Levi answered weakly.
“That’s unusual. You normally eat. A lot.”
“I know. But I feel sick to my stomach.”
“You should eat a little something, though. Do saltines work?”
“I’m okay with that.”
Olivia gave Levi a few saltines and a can of light soda, so that he could have something in his stomach. While watching TV, he thought very much about Mackenzie Burbanks, one of his good friends from school. Knowing each other since the age of eleven, Mackenzie is someone Levi has always been fond of. Her brown hair, brown eyes, and beautiful smile would always make Levi consider a relationship with her. He closed his eyes and imagined this relationship until he heard the front door open.
It was now 12:30 in the afternoon, and Louise arrived at her half siblings’ house from work. She brought some chocolate turtles from the local candy shop for them. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve ate their share of the candy, but Levi did not feel like eating much, since he still wasn’t feeling well. He continued to watch some stupid cartoons while the pain in his throat gradually worsened.
Thirty minutes later, he suddenly developed a horrible taste in his mouth, accompanied by a sore throat, cold sensation, and intense nausea.
“I think I have a draining abscess in the back of my throat,” he said, terrified.
“Okay. Let me call Mom and Dad,” Louise answered calmly, for she knew what she was doing.
Once Louise got off the phone with their mother after five minutes, she and Levi headed to the hospital. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve stayed home and hoped that things were going to be fine.
By the time Louise took her younger brother to the hospital, Levi started crying very hard. His throat hurt badly, and he still had the bad taste in his mouth. He felt very sick, and his head was pounding. He was then starting to feel very dizzy. Once the doctor called the two into the examining room, Levi felt a little relieved.
The doctor performed all of the possible procedures that every doctor would. He mainly checked Levi’s throat to make sure nothing was very serious. When the doctor could see Levi’s tonsils, it was obvious that there was a ruptured abscess on the side of his left tonsil. There was an abscess on his right tonsil as well, but the doctor did not want this one to also drain suddenly.
The doctor knew he had unpleasant news for both Louise and Levi. He asked Levi how many times he had strep in the past few months, to which Levi responded that he had strep at least twice every two months. This peritonsillar abscess was the fourth one he had had over the course of five months. The doctor said that Levi needed to have his tonsils taken out, and he needed them out soon.
Once Levi found out the news, he remained calm on the outside. However, on the inside, he was horribly nervous. Levi remained emotionless in his appearance. He found himself breathing more heavily. He could also feel his heart pounding hard against his chest. He wasn’t sure if he felt like crying or if he just didn’t want anyone to see his true emotions. He was scheduled for surgery in an hour and thirty minutes. This was plenty of time for their parents to arrive at the hospital before Levi’s tonsillectomy.
Once his parents arrived at the hospital with Levi’s favorite plush dinosaur, Levi clutched the toy. He pretended that it was Mackenzie, and he hugged it tightly so that he could get his mind off the obvious. Their parents also did whatever they could to calm Levi down before he had to go to the operating room. Once Levi’s name was called by a nurse, he could feel his heart rate skyrocket a second time. He and his parents went with the nurse to the prep room. This was where Levi had to have yet another physical examination, where the same possible procedures that a doctor or nurse would perform were actually performed. Levi was then taken to the operating room.
Before he knew it, he had the laughing gas mask put over his face. He was told to breathe deeply. Levi focused on his breathing while also listening intently to the fast beep-beep’s of the heart monitor. He was very nervous at first, and then he thought about Mackenzie. She would be there in spirit, with her ear pressed firmly against his chest so that she could actually hear his strong heartbeat and the gentle whooshes of his breathing. She would tell him that she loved him and that he would make it through the surgery very well. This calmed him down a lot. He noticed that his heart rate slowed down a little, and he wasn’t breathing too hard. He was now in a state of peace.
“I love you, Mackenzie,” Levi thought before he fell asleep. When he was finally under the anesthetic, the surgeons started operating on his throat. Things were going well enough until one surgeon accidentally cut a sensitive spot right above Levi’s tonsils. This spot was so sensitive that the surgeons could not stop the bleeding for about five minutes.
“Oh no!” said one surgeon.
“We missed,” said another surgeon. “What do we do?”
“We will have to cauterize the wound. Cauterization wand?”
The surgeons tried to use the cauterization wand, but the surgical instrument was not working for some reason. No one knew why they could not cauterize the second injury.
“Oh no! The wand isn’t working,” The second surgeon reacted.
“Shoot!” exclaimed the first surgeon.
“What are we going to do?!”
“Second best option. We will have to stitch the cut together.”
Once the spot was stitched together, the surgeons felt better about the whole situation. They believed that Levi was going to be in a lot of pain once he woke up, but he would be okay at least. Once his tonsils and adenoids were taken out, he was wheeled into the recovery room.
“Levi, wake up,” said a nurse.
Levi opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. He felt hot. His throat felt hot. He was incredibly thirsty. Above all, he wondered where his parents were. When he was able to return to his senses, he did not feel much different. His throat hurt even more now than it did before surgery. It felt like he had four cases of strep throat, all at once. His throat also felt very hot, as if a flame torch had been forced down. His parents then came into the room.
“Hey, Levi,” his dad said calmly.
Levi really did not feel like talking much.
“Worst. Day. Of. My. Life,” Levi muttered quietly.
A nurse then came into the room.
“Would you like cherry, orange, or grape?” Nurse Michaelson asked him in a motherly manner.
Levi pointed at the grape popsicle. The nurse gave the grape popsicle to Levi’s mom. His mom opened the wrapper, and then held the popsicle while Levi was slowly sucking on it.
Nurse Michaelson felt very sorry for Levi, based on the hearsay that she was given about the trouble the surgeons went through just to take out his tonsils. She, a big woman probably closing in on 60, always smiled sympathetically. She wanted so badly to make the atmosphere in the recovery room slightly more comfortable.
“How’s your throat, hon?” Levi’s mom asked while she held the popsicle up to Levi’s mouth.
Levi shook his head, meaning that it really hurt.
“One of the surgeons accidentally cut the area above where Levi’s tonsils used to be, and the surgeons could not control the bleeding. So, they had to stitch the cut in order to stop it,” the nurse explained with utmost compassion.
Levi let out a heavy sigh.
“So, that’s why it hurts so much?” Levi questioned softly.
The nurse slowly nodded.
“Would you like to see what your tonsils looked like?” Nurse Michaelson questioned Levi, who, in return, shrugged his shoulders.
He didn’t care that much about what his tonsils looked like. Nurse Michaelson brought in a small bag with two enormous blobs of tissue inside it. At first, Levi was pretty grossed out. He grew nauseated for about fifteen minutes, and then he did not think his tonsils really looked that bad.
“Can I keep my tonsils in a jar?” Levi questioned the nurse with a weak smile.
There were five seconds of silence, and then his parents and the nurse started laughing very hard. Levi couldn’t help but smile because he was proud that he made everyone around him laugh.
“I wish I could say yes, but if you did, your tonsils would decay, and they would smell horrible,” the nurse responded.
Levi shrugged his shoulders. He really could not stand the fact that he had a burning sensation in the back of his throat.
“Did someone force a burning muffin down my throat?”
“Your throat may feel hot because of the cauterization wand that the surgeons used.”
Levi let out a heavy sigh. It was obvious that he really was not himself. On a normal day, he would never assume that anyone forced a burning muffin down his throat; much less would he have much interest in keeping his tonsils in a jar in his backpack.
“Je m’appelle Levi Cranston. J’habite a Valparaiso. Je suis americain. Je parle français.”
“Are you taking French right now?”
“Yes, sir. I love it.”
There were five seconds of silence. The nurse and Levi’s parents could not help but laugh. Levi let out another weak smile. He was completely out of it. The anesthesia was slowly wearing off. And then….
“I love you, Mackenzie!” Levi then blurted out with tears in his eyes.
“Awwww,” his mother answered sympathetically while moving closer to him to wipe his tears with some facial tissues.
She then put her hand on his chest to calm him down. Levi cried himself back to sleep. He and his parents stayed in the recovery room for another two hours.
Then, they went home.
Four days after the surgery, he still felt horrible. He got up to brush his teeth and put on clean clothes. His mom took a few days off to take care of him. She came into the living room where Levi was resting.
“Hey, sweetie. How do you feel?” his mom asked, and Levi shrugged his shoulders.
“My throat hurts. I feel like I was pushed out of a 64-story building. I’m hot. I’m tired. And I want a cold drink,” Levi answered plainly.
“Cold water sound good?”
“Oh, and Mackenzie called about two hours ago. She was wondering if she could come over. She’s worried about you,” his mom said as she was walking to the refrigerator to get her son a glass of ice cold water.
Levi started thinking about Mackenzie again. After five minutes of some intense contemplating and pondering, he let out a weak smile.
“Can she come over?” he questioned.
“It’s up to you. How do you feel?” his mom answered with another question.
“I’m okay with that.”
Levi eventually called Mackenzie when he finally felt up to it, which was later that day. He dialed
her number. Levi almost dialed the wrong number at first because he couldn’t remember Mackenzie’s number. However, after a few tries, Levi had the right number. And, after Mackenzie heard her phone go off, she answered it.
“Herro, Revi,” Mackenzie answered the phone rather humorously.
“Hey. Want to have a video game party?” Levi asked.
“Okay! Can I come over in about thirty minutes?”
“All right. See ya!”
After Levi got off the phone with Mackenzie, he went up to his bedroom. He searched for a specific ring that had a small plastic pink flower on it, which was a ring that Victoria didn’t want anymore. Levi then put the ring in a small jewelry box and hid it in a place where no one would find anything obvious. Mackenzie came to his house thirty minutes later. She knocked on the door. Levi answered it.
“Hey, Mackenzie,” Levi said with a weak tone in his voice.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” Mackenzie answered back.
“My throat hurts.”
“Oh well. I have some games that we could play today.”
“I’m cool with that.”
Levi and Mackenzie spent at least two hours playing video games. After the two kids finally quit playing them, Levi went up to his room, took the small jewelry box, and put it in his pocket. He went downstairs and lay back down on the sofa. He slowly moved the box in his hand.
“Hey, Mackenzie?” he questioned a little softly.
Levi could feel his heart banging against his chest. He was very nervous about this.
“Yes, Levi?” Mackenzie answered politely.
Levi took a deep breath as he took the box out of his pocket. Fifteen seconds later.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Levi questioned as he opened the box with the ring.
“Are you serious?!”
“Yes!” Mackenzie answered as she grew speechless to the point where she started crying.
She reached over to where he was and hugged him tightly. It was pretty obvious that Levi was not feeling well. He started shivering, and Mackenzie put some blankets over him. She then decided to stay for another hour and watch some cartoons with him.
Levi’s mom came into the living room where Mackenzie and Levi were because she wanted to check on Levi. She had a conference call that she just finished. When Levi wrapped himself more tightly in his blankets, his mom looked at Mackenzie.
“Mackenzie, you should probably head home. Levi might have a fever.”
Afterwards, she checked her son’s temperature. He had a 100.8 degree fever. Mackenzie definitely needed to go home.
Before she left for home, she gave Levi another hug and kissed him on the cheek. Levi let out a heavy sigh and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Once Levi’s mom drove Mackenzie home, Levi fell into a blissful sleep for several hours.
From The Crazy Chicken Escapade
It was the next morning, about 8:30. So, not too early and not too late. Strangely enough, all three boys were awake at this time. Andrew woke up at 7:30, and David and Levi woke up at the same time….at 8:06. Kaloi, Marty, Sporto, Cosmo, Jack McFrost, and Jefferson gathered around the table and ate buttermilk pancakes, maple bacon, and eggs, courtesy of Kaloi. The three boys joined everyone once they got ready for the day.
Today, Kaloi and Marty were going to take everyone to the Crazy Chicken Village, or at least try to.
Kaloi, Marty, Sporto, Cosmo, Jack McFrost, and Jefferson told the newcomers about this odd place. On their thirty-minute walk toward the Crazy Chicken Village, the kids met a heavy man with a bib and a fork and spoon in each hand. On his shirt, there were six letters, two of them were in blue ink, two were in green, and the last two letters were in red. These letters spelled out “H.O.T.C.C.V.”
“I have no clue what those words stand for,” said Andrew.
The other two boys looked at the acronym carefully.
“There are many possible words to choose from. There is ‘Heart Of Those Carelessly Creepy Villains,’” said David.
“There is ‘Hippo Over Thy Courageously Crying Vitamins,” Levi remarked.
“That doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Marty replied.
“What would?” Sporto questioned.
“The letters would not make a lot of sense,” Cosmo said, and this time, he was the most serious that he has ever been.
“No, Cozz. I meant, what would make a lot of sense?” Sporto asked.
“AW, NUTS!” Cosmo shouted, and everyone looked at him. He pouted.
“No pouty lip, Cozz!” Jefferson shouted.
“DON’T BE SILLY! PENGUINS CAN’T POUT! DON’T CALL ME COZZ EITHER! I HATE BEING CALLED COMSO, COMMY, COZZY, COM, COZZ, COMICOZZER, COSMIC, AND I REALLY HATE BEING CALLED COMICOZZY!” Cosmo screamed.
“Do you mean….kamikaze?” Jack McFrost corrected him, like he always has.
“A bunch of hard-to-spell and hard-to-pronounce words again, huh?”
This conversation was interrupted by a nasty greeting. A greeting so nefarious that thunder was suddenly heard by everyone. A man, who came out of his brown English Tudor house, wore a white t-shirt that had the acronym, H.O.T.C.C.V. on it. He also wore blue jeans, and a black cape tied around his shirt. This man had a mole on his long nose.
This man was either trying to be a “superhero” or “supervillain.” Or maybe just a comedian.
“Who dareth entereth me private space?” sneered the man.
“My name is Marty. I am a polar bear, and we are on a journey to make an agreement with the crazy chickens,” Marty replied.
“I am Anthony T. DeSillyhead, Head of the Crazy Chicken Village. That’s what H.O.T.C.C.V. stands for, but this isn’t my shirt.”
“Whose is it then?” Sporto asked.
“Mayor Cluck’s, but his mommy made him take it off. He got in trouble when he made spoiled egg salad instead of fresh, and he added a hint of baked beans to it, so they all had a delightful music recital. If you want to know what my middle name is, it is Tony. So, my full name is Anthony Tony DeSillyhead.”
“Isn’t Tony a short form of Anthony?” Levi questioned.
“Indeed,” Anthony answered. He looked as if he was about to cry, and he did for only one minute.
Marty offered him a handkerchief, and Anthony blew very hard into it. After Anthony pulled himself back together, he invited everyone to dinner at his house, which consisted of fried chicken, Caesar salad, and root beer floats. Again, the time spent at Anthony’s was a complete blur, so no one would probably remember what exactly happened during the time at Anthony’s. After the long day, Anthony offered a ride home for everyone. At 11:30, they were all back at Kaloi’s humble abode.
Tomorrow was going to be another fun, but long, day.
During the night, when everyone was asleep, there was the craziest chicken lounge a few blocks away, where every chicken soul was hyper in the middle of the night. Everyone was being immature and running around the place, and there were some chickens who were being mean and pushing their elders out of their seats.
“HUSH NOW, CLUCKS! MR. BRADFORD HAS SOMETHING TO SAY!” a random chicken randomly shouted over the microphone at the most random moment.
“Greetings, rude chicken legs. We have introduced our beloved, well-respected, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous fellow chicken in all this district, area, and village, oh my! And this chicken is NOT as rude, mean, and selfish as you rotten little spaghetti arms. Well, here is our first-rate citizen, Radcliffe Mostaccioli!” Mr. Bradford, another fellow chicken announced.
Everyone’s applause sounded like the roars of chicken thunder. Radcliffe was indeed very gorgeous because he wore a sparkly purple shirt, and some female chickens almost fainted from just looking at him.
“Greetings, fellow chickens! I am here to be silly, but am I also here to blame those knuckleheads who stand in front of the stage? Palooza, no! I am here, before we have fun, to give you a lecture, which will last exactly thirty minutes, and it is about kindness and caring, instead of pushing people out of their seats,” the beloved chicken said.
Radcliffe then proceeded to give his lecture, which was mostly serious, except for some random jokes that he had thrown out there just to catch his audience off guard.
“I believe that we all need to be nice to each other, like me and my girlfriend, who I am now going to propose to. I would like her to accept my proposition for marriage,” were Radcliffe’s ending lines of his lecture.
Radcliffe’s girlfriend’s mouth dropped with utter excitement. Applause roared throughout the whole room, and Radcliffe put a silver ring on his now fiancé’s finger.
As the lecture came to an end, and everyone was all happy and whatnot, there were suddenly four people who slowly entered the party. They happened to be:
Darveda Davucci Illiona,
“You two will go to the other side of the lounge and do as I say, or you will get no ice cream forever and ever, amen,” Darveda ordered Bug and Hilda.
Hilda and Bug walked slowly to the other side of the lounge. Radcliffe was in the middle of one of his best jokes, and Hilda, because of how short she is, snuck up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Radcliffe ignored her the first time. However, the next time, out came a rude….
“WHAT?!” from the newly engaged chicken.
Hilda laughed a cunning laugh, while she took a gem out of her dress pocket.
“You are under my control. Look deep inside this beautifully gorgeous gem,” she said to Radcliffe.
“I think that was actually pretty redundant.”
Hilda thought to herself for a few moments, and then she proceeded to make her move.
“You are an elephant,” Hilda said to her chicken “comrade.”
Radcliffe started to act like an elephant.
The hypnotizing of Radcliffe was really working, which was horribly bad. As a matter of fact, every chicken in the room was hypnotized, and Hilda slowly removed the ring from Radcliffe’s fiancé’s finger and slowly put it in her coin purse.
“It’s sleepy time for Radcliffe, isn’t it? You will go to sleep because I said so,” Hilda said.
The goofy chicken soon became unconscious, and he fell asleep, too. This was a lucky day for the villains because the electricity went out. It was so dark in the lounge that Darveda, Nelson, Hilda, and Bug could get away with attempting to make a deal on the Winderplassic Estate with Radcliffe and Marty.
Everyone in the lounge went BONKERS! B-O-N-K-E-R-S.
“We’ve got him, you bolognaheads! When he signs the deal with us, we will take over the world, the earth, and the living planet, oh my!” Darveda laughed.
The other three bad guys laughed with her as well.
“Darveda?” Nelson got his comrade’s attention after five minutes of doing nothing other than laughing.
“What is it, you bolognahead?!” Darveda snapped.
“The world, the earth, and the living planet, oh my, are all the same thing.”
Darveda gave Nelson a crude glare.
“I knew that all along!”
Meanwhile, in the morning at Kaloi’s house….
Andrew woke up at 8 in the morning. It was a little boring, knowing that he was the only kid of the three who is a morning person.
Levi and David were still sleeping soundly when Andrew returned to the room. David stirred, but it was obvious that Levi was still in a deep sleep.
“Good morning, sleepyheads,” Marty said to the boys. Levi and David woke up in a bad mood. Both boys’ eyes were closed while they were fighting very hard to wake up.
“Good morning,” Levi replied sleepily. He raised his head high enough to acknowledge Marty’s presence, and then his head hit his pillow.
Levi fell back asleep.
“I heard back from Anthony Tony DeSillyhead early this morning. Darveda and her sidekicks have tried to take advantage of the chicken population, and Anthony wants us to return the chicken community back to normal.”
“Levi fell asleep,” David answered sleepily. He, like Levi, raised his head high enough to acknowledge Marty’s presence, and then his head hit the pillow.
Like Levi, David fell back asleep. Andrew was the only boy who was somehow fully awake.
“We need to start on our expedition to return the chicken community to normal!” Marty exclaimed.
“Kids these days.”
“I think David and Levi were both playing video games all night long,” Andrew said to the polar bear, reassuringly.
“I thought I heard video game music being played from my room last night. Did you play video games with them?”
“I played video games with them for a while, but then I went back to my quarter to finish my book.”
“How was it?”
“The book was not as good as I had hoped, but I have another book that I was going to start tonight.”
“You are quite the bookworm, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
Andrew wasn’t quite sure what to do next. He felt a little odd being the only boy up, but he then realized that David and Levi were going to suffer the consequences of being up so late. Not that Andrew wasn’t up late either, but he considered the beginning of the journey. Andrew knew that they were all going to start finding a way to rebuild the chicken community the following day.
Thirty minutes later, both David and Levi woke up, at about the same time. They both got ready for the day, and when the two boys returned to the quarters, both were wearing Hawaiian-print shirts. Since this was a complete déjà vu moment, Andrew decided to change into a Hawaiian-print shirt as well.
“How long did you stay up last night?” Andrew asked Levi.
“David and I stayed up until about two in the morning. You?” Levi responded.
“Until about eleven o’clock that night. I could overhear you and David yelling while you were trying to beat Cosmo and Jefferson at a game. It was amusing.”
“Oh yeah! That was so much fun. We were playing some classic car racing games against Cosmo and Jefferson, and, sadly, they won most of the time.”
“Oh well. At least it was fun!” Andrew replied.
“It was a lot of fun. And now I feel like I jumped out of a building,” Levi answered.
“I move around a lot when I sleep. I guess I moved around a little too much last night, and I forgot to put my ankle in a brace.”
“You have to wear an ankle brace?”
“I should, especially when I play tennis or sleep.”
After a few more minutes of conversation, David, Andrew, and Levi realized that they had not started on their journey yet. The three boys were still waiting for Marty to enter the quarters and announce the plans. While waiting for Marty, David, Andrew, and Levi sat quietly, eyeing the walls decorated with blue, green, and red paint, each boy’s favorite color.
Five minutes later, Marty entered the quarters.
“What are we going to do right now?” David asked Marty.
“We are going to Kaloi’s forensics lab in a few minutes,” Marty replied.
“What will that do for us in what we want to find out about the chicken community?”
“I doubt that the actual forensics lab will solve any of our questions. However, Kaloi was in touch with Anthony Tony DeSillyhead last night when there was all the commotion, so he might give us some information.”
“That’s still a good idea, though,” David remarked.
“He should give us some information, and he might even point us in the direction of what we need to do next,” Marty said.
“Have we met him yet?”
“The only boy who has is Levi, but he is a pretty cool guy. You all will like him, I’d think.”
“I’ve seen pictures of him on top of the fireplace, by the other pictures of all of you.”
“All of those pictures are from our senior years of college.”
“Where did you all go to college?” Levi asked.
“University of Wakahakai,” Marty replied.
From The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes
Rockybado, the Robot King of the Island of Texamilio, and the eight kids were sitting by an old oak tree, drinking some coffee or tea or whatever they really wanted. They went to a coffee shop today and decided to try new things, like the Calignobia. Some went with the Calignobia. Others went with the mint tea. And yet some others went with a hazelnut latte.
Things seemed to be going alright for quite a while. Nothing was to be worried about. The Patriotic Mosquitoes had not made their appearance yet. Or at least for quite some time. Everyone seemed to enjoy their drink of choice for the time being, until they all heard a very familiar sound.
The sound of a very familiar cowbell was faint at first. One may or may not be able to hear it at this point. But then, the sound of the cowbell grew louder and louder by the minute.
“Weeeeeee’re heeeeeeere,” Sam announced after a cowbell solo, performed by DR.
“Wonderful job,” Rockybado remarked.
“And no. You still cannot have the three islands.”
“Aw, come on! It’s Tuesday!” Sam exclaimed.
“What does Tuesday have to do with anything?” Rockybado questioned the leader of the Patriotic Mosquitoes.
“Tuesday is the best day of the week.”
“I honestly thought that the best day of the week was Friday.”
“No. I believe it’s Tuesday.”
“Well, that could be your opinion, though.”
“It is, and it’s right.”
Since when would someone say that Tuesday is the best day of the week? For some, Tuesday's are typically pretty great. For others, Tuesday's are typically pretty horrible. In most cases, probably not horrible. Just annoying because it's Tuesday. This day may not be the absolute best for most, but it would probably not be the absolute worst either. This Tuesday was probably not going to be the absolute best for the Patriotic Mosquitoes. But then again, the Patriotic Mosquitoes might find a way to make their Tuesday pretty great. And they would try to do this by getting away with taking the three supposedly fictitious islands. This was about to get interesting.
“Did you actually have a plan to take over the islands?” Rockybado asked.
“We were just gonna come in and take them,” Lisa replied.
“Well, we did have some plans, but they seem to have failed.”
“Yes, they most certainly did,” Rockybado replied.
“At least you recognize that,” Lisa said.
“I recognized it from the very beginning. The point is, you didn’t really seem to have a plan. You were waltzing all around Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai asking to take the islands. That is not the best strategy in my book.”
“Then, if that’s not it, then what is?”
“You just need a bigger and better plan.”
“As long as you don’t take the three islands.”
This didn't look amazing on the side of the Patriotic Mosquitoes. Rockybado, Dacston, and Marty had all concluded that the Patriotic Mosquitoes did not have the best motive possible to take over the islands. If the Patriotic Mosquitoes were not making any official plans, then what did they have to lose? Why did they have no motive? What were they going to prove when they just said they were going to take over the three islands? They couldn't just walk in and say they could take over the three islands. That would not have been cool. It was totally uncool for the Patriotic Mosquitoes to advertise who they were with absolutely no motive. And their name might have been a bit laughable as well. At least to those who haven't always associated mosquitoes with being patriotic.
“So, why are you called the Patriotic Mosquitoes?” David questioned.
“Because we care deeply for our land and our citizens. We all got power hungry, and we wanted more land,” Sam replied.
“So that is why you wanted the three islands all along?”
“I agree with Rockybado. You should have been more strategic,” David said.
“Do we still have a chance at the three islands?” Sam questioned.
“No, I don’t think you do.”
“You didn’t have a chance at the very get-go.”
“I realized that.”
“Sad, but true.”
Sam and the fellow Patriotic Mosquitoes started feeling sorry for themselves. None of them would have gone for a coffee at the moment. They were not in good moods at all. Not now, especially since their so-called "motive," if they even had one, was unveiled. Even though coffee normally lightens the mood, it may not always. For about five minutes, no one said a word. Not even the word "it" was said. Rockybado didn't know what else to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes. The kids didn't quite know what to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes. Sam didn't know what to say to the Patriotic Mosquitoes.
“What I find depressing is that you didn’t think you had enough power so you decided to take over these islands,” Levi remarked, shaking his head.
“Yeah, I guess that is pretty depressing,” Sam replied.
“Then, why did you think this was all a good idea?”
“Well, it’s all better than playing the odds against some land, I suppose.”
“What is that even supposed to mean?” Levi questioned.
“I am rambling,” Sam commented.
“You are kinda rambling.”
“I do like speedbags, though.”
“What are you talking about?”
“They’re fun to play with.”
“I don’t doubt that at all. I actually have a speedbag in my garage. My dad and I renovated it when I was in high school.”
“Is that right?”
It was definitely one of those moments when a drum roll would have been appropriate. Rockybado was waiting for the Patriotic Mosquitoes to make up their own mind about Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai. The sad looks on their faces gave Rockybado and the kids a somewhat obvious indicator. But it could have meant something else, too. They might have been sad because they missed their flight to London. That place is pretty cool, so many people would want to make a point to go there some time. But Rockybado still waited for the “drum roll” to subside and for Sam to tell him what his plans were going to be.
A few minutes later….
“So, what are you going to do, Sam?” Rockybado asked the leader of the Patriotic Mosquitoes. It was the ultimatum of ultimatums.
“I surrender,” Sam replied slowly, his head hanging down.
“It’s a deal. You must not request to take the three islands.”
“I accept the deal, even though it was not what I wanted.”
“I’m sorry to be a bearer of bad news, but I think it will be for the better,” Rockybado remarked.
“I understand,” Sam replied with a sigh.
“So, what will you be doing now?”
“I suppose we Patriotic Mosquitoes need to book a flight to Italy and eat our weight in pasta.”
“You would definitely like Italy.”
“I’ve always wanted to go there.”
With a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head, Sam had surrendered to the rightful rulers of the three islands. Even though he had lost his bet with the three islands, Sam was going to make sure that his loss wasn't so bitter. If he won the three fictitious islands, he and the Patriotic Mosquitoes were going to travel somewhere. Even if he lost the three fictitious islands, which he did, he and the Patriotic Mosquitoes were still going to travel somewhere. The Patriotic Mosquitoes had a plan.
“Rockybado,” Sam got the Robot King of the Island’s attention.
“Yes, Sam?” Rockybado responded.
“What did you enjoy most about Italy?”
“What did I enjoy most about Italy?”
“Yes,” Sam replied.
“The spaghetti,” Rockybado replied.
“Oh please. Of all things in Italy….the spaghetti?”
“Yes, the spaghetti. What were you expecting me to say?”
“The splendor of the Italian scenery, the warm fellowship of the citizens. You’re the Robot King of the Island, so I was thinking you’d say something a little more correct.”
“Well, I like their spaghetti, so if that’s a little incorrect for you, I don’t know what could be more correct.”
“Well, enough with the chit chat, I guess. My fellow comrades and I have a mission to accomplish. We are gonna go to Italy and take in the splendor of the Italian scenery, as well as the warm fellowship of the citizens because I like to be correct.”
“Have fun in Italy!”
Sam motioned Lisa, DR, Elly, and the other Patriotic Mosquitoes over to where he was. They had to book yet another flight, since their flight to London didn’t work out. As a matter of fact, the Patriotic Mosquitoes wanted to go to Italy, since they have been to England before. It took the Patriotic Mosquitoes to leave the island while Rockybado watched them leave. In a matter of fifteen minutes, the Patriotic Mosquitoes had finally left to go to Italy. And there was much rejoicing for Rockybado and the kids, as well as Dacston and Marty, and everyone else who rule these three islands.
“So, that is over. Finally,” Rockybado said to everyone.
“So, what are we gonna do now?” Andrew asked for everyone.
“I think we should get everyone together for a fiesta. I hear the dinosaurs over at Galavanti Island are amazing fiesta planners.”
“Yes, they are.”
“And I’m also in the mood for some jazz music. I hear they are excellent musicians over there,” Rockybado said.
“Absolutely,” Andrew replied.
“Well, what are we waiting for?”
“We should definitely reach out to them and see if they’re in the mood for a fiesta!”
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
“We’ll see what we can do!”
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Jack, Levi, Asad, and David were out and about on a typical summer day. They didn't quite know what to do with themselves, so they just walked around downtown Valparaiso. The four boys did not want to just sit around and play video games the whole day. They wanted to see what might be going on in town today. It wasn't too hot, but it looked like it could rain. Actually, according to the weather app on the boys' phones, it was supposed to rain later today. It was only 1:30 right now, so the boys were okay with going out for now. They were just walking around, looking for something to do. The four boys wanted to hit up a bar later today, but right now they were just focused on finding a place to eat. They didn't want to eat at home, so they were hoping for something instead of fast food.
All four of them ate a few snacks at home an hour ago, and, of course, they were hungry again. They wanted to practice tennis a little later, so they would have a little time to stuff their faces. Even if it was going to be in the rain, the boys still wanted to practice their tennis skills. After tennis, their main goal was to hit up a bar or two in the downtown area. And Rhody wanted to join them, even though he couldn't come to tennis practice. Rhody had an interview for a customer service position today, so he was super nervous about that. Jack has been tutoring ten students this summer, the extent of his current job experience. Levi has been serving at an apprenticeship at his dad's office this summer. Asad has been interning at a marketing agency. And David has been interning in communications.
For all of them, this has been a great way to get their feet in the door and see what might happen next. But right now, the four boys cared more about tennis practice and adventuring in downtown Valparaiso over anything else. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else mattered right now. None of the four boys had to be at work today, so why would they need to worry about a thing? They were currently walking in the direction of the courthouse from the west side of downtown. They saw all of the restaurant options, but they couldn't pick and choose. Jack, Levi, Asad, and David could not decide what they wanted. They wanted burgers, but where? So many options to choose from.
"I am very torn between a few places here," Levi remarked.
"I am, too," Jack replied, wistfully.
"What do we do?"
"I will make the final call on this one."
"What are you going to do?" Levi asked, quite curious.
"Pizza," Jack answered quickly.
"Pizza sounds good to me. Want to call them?"
"Sure. Why not? I always call for pizza."
"Not entirely true."
Jack called the pizza place on Lincolnway and Michigan Avenue. They would need to wait thirty minutes, which wasn't really a long time. Although all four boys were pretty hungry, they could wait for that amount of time. Jack, Levi, Asad, and David were hoping to explore downtown Valpo for a little while longer. They still didn't really care where they went. They just wanted to be out and about. It still hadn't rained yet, so they were good. The weather itself was quite overcast, but not to the point where it was going to rain yet. The boys walked back and returned to the park on Lincolnway and Lafayette. They just wanted to sit there and do nothing at the moment.
"I haven't had pizza in a while, actually," Jack remarked.
"Really, Jack. You had pizza last Tuesday," Levi replied.
"I meant....THIS pizza."
"HUGE difference," Jack said.
"Afterwards, I could go for a cider," Levi stated.
"Yeah. Me, too."
"I asked Rhody if he wanted to come, but he has plans."
"I know how much he also likes his cider."
"That's one reason why I invited him."
Jack and Levi were sitting at one bench. Asad and David were sitting at another bench. Two totally different conversations for now. Jack and Levi were thinking about pizza and beer. And David and Asad were probably thinking about the same ideas, but then again, maybe not. They stared at the younger kids who played in the sprinklers at the park. The younger kids' mothers were standing by the sprinklers, hoping to the Good Man they wouldn't get sprayed by the sprinklers. David and Asad couldn't help but laugh at their reactions to the sprinklers. And a lot of these mothers are most likely a little older than them. Not much of an age difference there.
"Remember when we were kids, and we played in the sprinkler?" David asked Asad, after ten minutes of watching the young kids.
"We can recreate that," Asad replied.
"Sure. That's true."
"Wanna play in the sprinklers here?"
"No!" David snapped.
"I thought you wanted to play in the sprinklers," Asad remarked.
"Not right now, I don't."
"If you don't want to play in the sprinklers, then what do you want to do?"
Twenty minutes passed, and Jack, Levi, Asad, and David walked back to the pizza place to get their pizza. Since it is only a five minute walk from where they were, they didn't rush to get there. It was starting to get more and more overcast by the minute. However, it didn't start raining yet. So, this was a hopeful sign for the four boys. They were hoping to hit up the bar after eating their pizza. Since the bar that they wanted to go to is within walking distance from Levi's house. Hopefully, it wouldn't rain when the four boys left the pizza place. But then, Asad noticed a few rain drops hit his head. At least they weren't too far away from the pizza place.
At least it wasn't down-pouring yet. The four boys now crossed Franklin on Lincolnway, so they were very close. It was starting to rain a little harder. However, Jack, Levi, Asad, and David were okay with this. They were close enough to their destination that they didn't care if they got a little rain on them or not. However, depending on what would happen with the rain, they may not be able to hit the bar. With a baseball bat. Because that would be too literal. And they also may not be able to play tennis tonight because of the rain. They would just have to wait and see.
"Well darn. It's raining," Levi remarked.
"Pretty hard as well," Asad said.
"None of us drove. So I guess we'll have to go down some avenues."
"Elmhurst Avenue, for one."
"Very funny, Asad. Very funny," Levi remarked.
"I try, I try," Asad replied.
"We could stay over at Louise's for a bit, or we could go to Vicky's."
"I don't know about Vicky's place, to be honest."
"To be honest, I kinda like Bonita, and it'd be awkward being in the same room as her."
Jack, Levi, Asad, and David sat at a table in the pizza place. They were perfectly okay with this because they didn't want to get their pizza destroyed by the precipitation. Jack opened the boxes, and his eyes grew big. Pizza. Gosh darn pizza. No day could be made better if it wasn't for pizza. The four kids eyed the pizza and tried to decide which slices they should take. Jack and Asad prefer the outside pieces, so they would most likely take those slices. And David and Levi would most likely take the inside slices. No one wanted to make conversation for now. They just wanted to enjoy their pizza for now.
"Good pizza," Jack remarked.
"Yes. VERY good pizza. I actually think this has been the best pizza I've had here," David commented.
"Well, I'm glad you like it."
"Well, I'm glad I like it, too."
"I wonder what we are gonna do with the rain and all," Jack stated.
"Yeah. Hopefully we can still play tennis," David said.
"It has to quit raining first, though."
"Yeah. I was in the mood for tennis."
"When are you not in the mood for tennis?"
Fifteen minutes later, the pizzas were gone. And the rain had let up a little. But not by much. It was still raining pretty hard out there. But Jack, Levi, Asad, and David decided to go over to Louise's for a little while. They didn't want to walk all the way to Elmhurst Avenue because of the rain. But Lafayette was quite doable. Louise was at the house. With this in mind, she would be able to let them in. And they would be able to play video games for as long as they'd like.
Jack, Asad, and David were most likely talking about some video games that they had just played. Levi, on the other hand, wanted to call his oldest half sister and let her know where they were. They decided to take Lincolnway up to Lafayette, which is only a few blocks away from where they were. Then, they turned right on Lafayette and headed toward Chicago Street. Levi dialed Louise's number, and he was hoping to get her as soon as possible.
"Hello?" Louise answered on her end.
"Yo, Louise. What are you up to?" Levi asked.
"Not much. We were going to play in the park, but, of course, the rain picks up."
"What are you up to?" Louise asked.
"My friends and I were planning to play tennis and go to the bar, but it started raining and we don't know if we can do any of that today," Levi replied.
"Where are you?"
"Michigan and Lincolnway."
"Not too far from either place."
"But, the problem is, we walked and it's now raining hard. I don't want to go back to our house until the weather clears up."
The four boys walked five minutes to Louise's house, on Lafayette Street. It wasn't a bad walk. However, the rain made the adventure a little less fun. The four boys could play in the rain if they wanted to. But right now, they wanted to play video games on the newer consoles. They had spent as much time as they wanted out on the town. And they had already gotten caught in the rain. That was for sure. The boys wanted to dry off for a bit. And then they might consider bringing out their inner child. Once the kids were at Louise's house, Levi knocked on the front door. In a matter of a minute, Louise came to the door.
"Hey guys," Louise greeted everyone at the front door.
"Hey, thanks for letting us stay over for a bit. Who all is here?" Levi asked.
"Just me. Brian decided to take your nephews to the library."
"That sounds like fun."
"So, I heard you had planned to play tennis today," Louise remarked.
"Yes, but the rain put an end to that I'm sure," Jack replied.
"Well, maybe the rain will stop by this evening."
"I think it said it would rain until this evening."
"That would be nice."
Louise has always known how the boys are. Their main goal was to race each other to a gaming console and play as many games as possible. At least Jack and Levi were eager to play video games. Asad and David didn't want to play video games for now. They wanted to sit around and drink cream soda. Louise had some in her fridge, so she offered some to her brother and his friends. Then, they all sat together in the common area. Jack and Levi were playing video games. David sat on a disc chair. Asad sat on the couch. And Louise sat on a recliner. It was a good way to spend a rainy afternoon.
"What were you guys doing in downtown?" Louise asked.
"Just exploring, I guess," Asad answered.
"That sounds like a lot of fun."
"It was, until we got pizza, when it rained."
"Makes a lot of sense," Louise said.
"I never knew their pizza was so good," David remarked.
"Didn't you say your family makes authentic pizza?"
"Yes, my dad is Italian, so he is the one that does all the cooking, and it's mostly authentic Italian."
"Levi is part Italian as well, but we don't do a lot of Italian food at the house."
"Yes, I know."
From Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game
Brody and Andrew got ready for their run, and the thought of Brett was still fresh on Brody’s mind. Andrew knew what was going on, but he didn’t really want to think about it as much. He was a little more concerned about having fun with Brody on their evening run.
And then, it occurred to Andrew.
“So, what was it again that you told me about Brett?” Andrew asked his best friend.
“He saw a girl who was stunning,” Brody replied blankly.
“He saw a girl who was stunning?”
“He saw a girl who was stunning.”
Brody and Andrew said nothing else. They did their stretches for about five minutes in the driveway of Brody’s house. And they were a little too focused on what they were going to do instead of thinking about what happened to Brett. Right now, it wasn’t really all that important.
After a few more minutes’ worth of stretches, lunges, push-ups, and all the whatnot, including taking a few puffs on their inhalers, the two boys were off. And they were probably not going to be home for another thirty minutes or so. Actually, maybe closer to an hour. This gave Brody’s mom enough time to order Chinese food and pick it up.
The first few minutes of the boys’ run started off normally. The two boys did not say a word to each other for another couple minutes into the run. Once Brody and Andrew left Garfield Court, and headed toward Hayes Street, they noticed that things were still normal. And then, Brody broke the silence.
“We’re closing in on your house!” Brody exclaimed.
“I know!” Andrew replied with almost as much excitement.
“Is David home?”
“I don’t think so. I actually think he went bowling with his friends.”
“Dawson and Brett already went bowling.”
“Oh yeah. About Brett?”
“What about Brett?”
Great. Brett was on their minds again. Brody knew exactly what happened when Brett was at the bowling alley. Andrew, however, had an idea of what was going on. Even though that was the case, the two boys chose to not think about it. They decided to enjoy the run.
The next five minutes were still quite normal. Brody and Andrew did not say anything else to each other. Instead, the two boys decided to look at all of the scenery around them, such as the houses, the flowers, the somewhat uneven pavement on which they were running. All of that.
And things were the same as always. There were some people playing outside. There were some people walking around the neighborhood. There were some people running around the neighborhood, like Brody and Andrew. There were some people driving around. There were even some people getting into or out of the car.
Depended on the household.
“How long have we been out?” Andrew questioned his best friend.
“I think about fifteen minutes,” Brody replied.
“Oh. So we are halfway into our run.”
“I guess so. We could possibly go for an hour.”
“Maybe. It depends on if Mrs. Ingram is home.”
And then things grew a little fishy. There were some people playing outside. There were some people walking around the neighborhood. There were some people running around the neighborhood, like Brody and Andrew. There were some people driving around. There were even some people getting into or out of the car. However, there were also some people who were acting a bit questionable tonight.
At one house….
“DANNY, IT SMELLS LIKE TUNA OUT HERE!” A neighbor shouted at the top of her lungs.
Brody and Andrew looked at each other and then shared a laugh. Why would anyone think that it smelled like tuna outside? At least the two boys didn’t think that this was the case. On the other hand, if the outdoors really smelled like anything other than the nice summer air, then many people would probably hope that it smelled like bacon. But tuna?
“That was weird,” Brody said matter-of-factly.
“I know,” Andrew replied.
“Do you think it smells like tuna outside?”
“No. Do you?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Then, why do you believe they think that?” Andrew questioned his best friend.
“From what I understand, they are quite a weird bunch,” Brody replied.
“I think I will have to agree.”
End of conversation. Brody and Andrew kept on running. Mindless of everything going on around them. They basically forgot about the neighbor who complained that it smelled like tuna outside. However, they still remembered the story about Brett. Or, at least, Brody still thought deeply about it. But Andrew still didn’t think so deeply about it.
Another two minutes passed, and then Brody and Andrew came across a young man, probably around Dawson’s age, dancing on the lawn in his pickle boxers. And he had headphones in his ears. So, he was probably listening to good R & B music while dancing in his boxers.
Brody and Andrew ran past him. And the young man did not appear to be phased. He was just dancing in his pickle boxers with his headphones on. Even though many girls would probably think that was the most repulsive thing they have ever seen, many boys, such as Brody and Andrew, would think it was pretty funny.
“Who is he?” Brody asked.
“I don’t know. He appears to be of some mischief.”
“He obviously appears to be of some comical mischief.”
“But I still thought that was pretty funny.”
“I did, too.”
“Seriously, you don’t always come across a guy dancing on his lawn in his boxers,” Brody said.
“I do,” Andrew joked.
“I dance on my lawn in my boxers.”
“I didn’t think you did.”
A few more houses down, there was a bonfire. A few more houses down from where the bonfire was, there was another party. And yet a few more houses from that party, there were some kids playing on a water slide. At around 5:30 in the afternoon. What a perfect time to play on a water slide.
Things appeared to be quite normal again for another minute or two. And then, it happened. Something weird and somehow comical. There was a lady and a man, assumed to be either boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancée and fiancé, or husband and wife. And, then again, it might have been brother and sister or cousin and cousin.
The lady and the man were standing outside on their lawn singing songs to each other. However, what Brody and Andrew heard the two singing was not in English. It might have been in French, but neither of the boys thought that was the case. It couldn’t possibly be Spanish. And it was most certainly not in German.
How did the two kids know that? Both boys have heard enough of the Spanish language in their lives. Not that their families have ever had Spanish as the primary language in their household, for that was not the case. However, Brody’s brother is fluent in Spanish after seven years of learning the language. As is Andrew’s brother.
There were two choices left: Latin or Pig Latin.
“What language do you think they’re singing in?” Andrew questioned.
“It does not sound like Latin,” Brody replied.
“Then, what do you think it is?”
“I don’t know. What do you think it is?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, then I can’t answer that question,” Brody said.
“Well, let’s just assume that they’re singing in Pig Latin,” Andrew replied.
“Never assume anything, Andrew.”
“I wasn’t assuming.”
“You just said you were!”
Brody and Andrew shared a laugh. Both boys are pretty smart, but, especially when on a run, Andrew tends to lose focus on what he’s even saying. Oh well. Brody has always forgiven him for that. Even though it happens quite frequently.
When on a run.
Both boys agreed that the lady and the man were singing in Pig Latin. Even though neither boy could really decipher the words. It was still pretty funny, according to Brody and Andrew, that they were actually singing in, what the boys assumed to be, Pig Latin on their own lawn. All of their neighbors could possibly hear them. But, obviously, what did the lady and the man care? They were just having fun.
A familiar car and face pulled up to the two boys. Brody and Andrew quit running and walked over to the car. It was Brody’s mom, and she had some Chinese food in the car. She was, of course, on her way home.
Both boys decided that they were a bit sore from their evening run. They did have a blast, though. Even if they did encounter some weird neighbors who thought it smelled like tuna outside, who danced on the lawn in their pickle boxers, who sang songs in what was assumed to be Pig Latin.
Brody and Andrew got into Mrs. Ingram’s car, and they rode back to the house. The aroma of Chinese goodness emanated through the whole car. It could have been a Chinese buffet inside. But it was all just due to the boxes that contained all of the good food.
And now, the thought of Brett popped back into the boys’ heads.
“How’s Brett?” Brody asked his mom.
“I don’t know. Why do you ask?” Mrs. Ingram answered.
“He was acting weird today.”
“Did he meet a girl at the bowling alley?”
“Maybe he won’t be ‘acting weird’ when we come home. He might be playing his guitar. He might be playing video games. He might be helping set the table. He might be doing anything and everything.”
Then, Brody, Andrew, and Mrs. Ingram were at home. The two boys helped bring in the Chinese food, since there was actually quite a bit of food for everyone to carry. And then, when everyone came to the table, they all had some delicious Chinese take-out.
From Rockybado: Robot King of the Island
After several rounds of kickball, Brody wanted to break away from his group of friends for a while and find ways to recharge his mind. Brody’s friends and brothers were still with the creatures when he walked far enough away so that he could be by himself. Just for an hour or two.
The boy walked down a beautiful path full of red leaves, squirrels, and walnuts. He could feel the breeze stroke his messy brown hair. It felt good. It felt very good to walk down a path with the breeze in his face. However, the walk down the trail was not quite enough for him to recharge. He also felt like he needed a little guidance in life. He was all alone in the forest until he could hear a weird voice calling random male names.
“Sam, Jacob, Ryan, Josh, William, David, Brian, Benjamin, Brody….”
Brody raised an eyebrow and attempted to walk closer to whoever was calling off these random names. This “person” did not have a voice that he would have recognized. Out of curiosity, he still walked closer and closer to this person. Once he approached the voice, he realized it was a tiny pink lady, no more than five feet tall. This person looked like an old grandmother; the wrinkles, the dyed red hair, and the apparel from 1942 could give it away.
“You called?” Brody asked with sudden apprehension.
“Why, yes, yes,” the lady responded with glee. “Who must you be?”
“I’m Brody Ingram. Who are you?”
“My name is Prudence McCallister. But just call me Grandma. It’ll make your life so much easier if you call me by that name.”
Brody let out a heavy sigh. He had no idea what to think. He just paid attention to his breathing, which grew heavier as he was feeling very uneasy about the entire situation.
“So, where must you be from, boy?” Grandma questioned.
“Crown Point, Indiana,” Brody answered, now feeling more apprehensive.
“My, yes. I know several people from around that general area.”
“That’s good to know.”
“So, what brings you here, Brody?”
“I heard my name being called.”
“And I’d like to know why you called my name?”
“I’d like to gather some insight.”
“Don’t worry. I like being able to help everyone. I can tell that people are distraught by just looking at them.”
“And you think I’m distraught?”
Brody thought for a moment and shrugged his shoulders. He did not feel like arguing, since he was somewhat at peace. He went with Grandma to a room that contained wallpaper that looked much like the scenery of Rhode Island. Grandma then looked at him blankly.
“So, are you really at peace, or are you just saying that?” she questioned him.
Brody did not know what to say, so he remained quiet. Grandma told him to take off his socks and shoes. Then, Brody had to lie on the floor on his belly.
“Brody Andrew Ingram, you seem like….”
“How do you know my full name?”
“My brains have told me, boy.”
“What is David’s full name?”
“David Baker Ingram.”
“Wow. You are good.”
“Anyway, you seem like the person who needs a little bit of enlightening.”
“I guess so.”
“Just take my directions seriously. You got it?”
Brody nodded with a little less apprehension. He was actually starting to see the amazement in this little old woman. She must have been a fortune teller after all.
“Brody, you need to listen to your heart. Listen to what it tells you.”
While lying on the floor on his stomach, Brody cupped both hands underneath the left side of his chest. He could, of course, feel his own heart beating in his hands. Doing this made him feel like he was caressing a small animal, only it was his own being inside himself. It was pretty cool and somewhat peaceful. Grandma just stood there and smiled.
“Now, be very quiet. What do you hear?”
Four seconds later, Brody could hear the faint sound of a heartbeat. It was a little fast, but it was very pleasurable. Then, he could hear the sound of gentle breathing. Every time he took a breath, the sound matched his breathing. Brody blushed for a few seconds. It was the sound of the life inside him. It was the sounds of the heart and lungs that actually belonged to him. He lay on the floor quietly and paid closer attention to his steady heartbeat.
“Brody Andrew Ingram, let me tell you what I can see. You are very intelligent. I can tell by how you keep your hair. You have a deep hunger for knowledge. I can tell by how fast your heartbeat is. You are also very stubborn and headstrong. I can tell by how you hold yourself,” The lady’s voice echoed across the room.
At least Brody perceived it as an echo. It mixed in well with the pounding of his heartbeat and the gentle whooshes of his breathing. Nothing was real. It was all an image. His eyes were closed. But, while closing his eyes, he imagined a blank pink color, and then glittery diamonds that moved around. He then imagined himself in a tulip garden with a lot of different colored flowers, ranging from cerulean to cyan to chartreuse, to indigo to malachite to scarlet. He was surrounded by a magenta sky, indicating that he was in Calignobia. There were still the sounds of his breathing and his heartbeat, which sped up over a matter of time. There was a huge body of water that was right in the middle of the tulip garden, and the tulips, for some odd reason, started dancing in the wind, to Brody’s breathing.
Then, Rockybado and the other boys appeared out of nowhere and decided to frolic in the tulip fields. The sky turned from magenta to fuchsia, meaning that it was now about nine o’clock in the evening. Then, everyone sat down by the body of water and stared at the sunset.
Meanwhile, back at Rockybado’s place, David and the other boys noticed that Brody had been gone for over an hour, and they started to get worried. Adam and Toby stayed with Rockybado.
David and Andrew walked in the direction that they remembered Brody walking. In the sienna dirt, they noticed some footprints, which they assumed belonged to Brody. They followed these footprints to a cottage, and they approached the small house in a matter of minutes. When the boys walked up to the door, David decided to knock on it. The door opened fifteen seconds after he knocked on it.
“Hello?” the old lady’s voice boomed.
“Hello. Is Brody here?” David asked rather politely.
“Who is Brody?”
David thought for about ten seconds, and then decided to make his move.
“I don’t have time for this,” he said as he barged into the cottage with Andrew. They walked over to the common area, and they saw Brody lying on the floor like a kitten.
“Let’s get him out of here,” Andrew stated.
The boys struggled for five minutes to pick up David’s younger brother, but they somehow handled it rather well. David carried Brody up to his waist, and Andrew had his upper body, and he made sure he wasn’t hurt. The two boys took him back to Rockybado’s place and put him on the sofa in the common area. Afterwards, the boys returned to playing outside while Brody was sleeping.
When Brody finally woke up, he found himself on Rockybado’s sofa. He woke up slowly, sat up on the sofa, rubbed his neck with his hand, and couldn’t decipher where he was. After fifteen seconds, he lay back down on the sofa. It was too comfortable, and he did not want to get out of bed. It seemed as if today was going to be one of those days that he was not supposed to get up.
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi woke up to the sound of a moving truck. It was only 8:39 in the morning, and that was a GREAT way of waking him up. He had no idea that someone might have bought that house already. He saw a "For Sale" sign in front of the house a while ago, but he had no idea it was sold. Curious, Levi say up on his futon and tried to peer out the window. He couldn't get much of a view from where he was, so he moved to his office desk and tried to get a better view from there. Seriously, who in the Sam Hill would be more than willing to move into a house at 8:30 in the morning? Someone would need a lot of strong coffee, a hatred for sleep, motivation, or all of the above. Levi didn't actually wake up in a bad mood. However, he was torn between staying awake or going back to sleep.
His arms were resting on the office desk. And his head was resting on his arms. Levi really couldn't decide what to do right now. He wanted to go back to sleep to get more hours in. But he also thought that it'd be a good idea to stay up now. Even though it was pretty early, he probably would need to try getting up earlier anyway. He has an apprenticeship with his dad's company, and he works on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10-3. Today, he did not have to work. But he did have to decide whether he wanted to get ready for the day or no. And he had to make a decision quickly.
Levi wanted to stay up because he knew for a fact that he couldn't go back to sleep. With this in mind, he decided to get ready for the day. Downstairs, Olivia and Evelyn Maeve were sitting at the dining room table with their parents. Mrs. LeVole was drinking oolong tea, and Mr. Cranston was reading the funnies. Olivia was not in the mood for coffee, so she wanted some grape juice. And Evelyn Maeve wanted the same thing. Olivia was also quite curious about the movers. Little did they know that someone was actually going to move near them. Olivia wanted to see what was going on. And then Levi came downstairs.
It was a very nice day to say the least. And Olivia knew how she wanted to spend it. She and Levi decided to sit outside on the front porch and see what might be going on. There were at least two smaller moving trucks moving north on Elmhurst Avenue. Olivia was pretty curious about this. Levi just wanted to relax. They just sat outside and took in the nice breeze that brushed up against them. The two kids didn't say much for a little while. They just wanted to watch what might be going on around them. And it was a nice day to do so.
"I guess we have new neighbors," Olivia remarked to her little brother as they were both staring past the front porch.
"You don't say," Levi replied in a somewhat sarcastic tone.
"The truck indicates that."
"I wonder who moved into that house."
"It'd be interesting to find out," Olivia said.
"Yes, it would be," Levi answered.
"Should we make cookies for them?"
"How about brownies?"
Levi was not in the mood to cook. He wanted to eat a whole pizza. Olivia was in the mood for cooking. She did not want to eat a whole pizza. While she got some pots and pans out to make brownies, Levi reluctantly helped her. He has never really enjoyed cooking. However, he has been considered, by many, a master at cooking. But talent and passion aren't always interchangeable. One's gotta love something to put his or her heart into it. And that's a fact.
"Levi, what kind of brownies should we make?" Olivia asked her little brother.
"Brownies," Levi replied.
"Seriously. Cherry brownies, marshmallow brownies, caramel brownies...."
"I'm going with caramel brownies," Olivia remarked.
"Brownies," Levi said.
"Caramel brownies are good."
"They're for the new neighbors."
Disappointed, Levi went with Olivia's plan. She was pretty serious about this idea, even at the age of 24. Evelyn Maeve would definitely help with the caramel brownies. But she was in a deep and humorous conversation with their dad. Levi wasn't quite in the mood to do anything else besides eating a whole pizza and playing video games that dated as early as the 1980's. However, he was only in for the cooking part, as long as he had his own share of the brownie batter. And as long as there was rock music playing in the background through some decent speakers. That would definitely motivate him. Otherwise, he was in no mood to meet new neighbors. Olivia, of course, was the complete opposite.
"You're such a Donny Downer on this, Levi," Olivia said.
"You know that I'm really shy," Levi replied.
"You don't know that?"
"I don't see that," Olivia stated.
"I seriously hope I don't run and hide when we all start talking," Levi remarked.
"I'll make sure you don't."
"You will get to hold the brownies I make."
"I'll eat them. You know me."
What the heck. Why not make brownies and hope to the Good Man that they would actually be for home? Olivia went on ahead and made the brownies. Levi helped clean the bowl by eating most of the leftover brownie batter. And he also added the caramel drizzle to the batter. But the rest was all on Olivia. In no time at all, the brownies were freshly done. She convinced Levi to walk over to the neighbor's house and greet them. Even though the neighbors didn't move into a house right by the Cranston's house, it wasn't going to be too much of a walk. In about five minutes, Olivia and Levi were at the new neighbors' house.
"Hello," Olivia said as she and Levi were finally at their new neighbor's house.
"Oh hi," the new neighbor replied back.
"I'm Olivia, and this is my little brother, Levi. Say hi, Levi."
"Hello," Levi said quietly.
"You're really shy, aren't you?" the new neighbor remarked.
"Well, I'm not a bulldog. I don't bite."
"Do you have a bulldog?"
"No. We have a cocker spaniel."
It wasn't complete drudgery for Levi. Back in the hay day, Levi was terrified of new surroundings. That was quite obvious after the move from Crown Point to Valparaiso in fourth grade. And the nurse was the one who introduced Levi to Jack Andrews. Before then, Levi was always nervous about going to school since he knew no one. Now, Levi has gotten much better at that. However, he is still pretty shy. He likes to meet new people, but he sometimes needs a boost to initiate a conversation. Right now, Levi still wanted to eat a whole pizza. No one could blame him for that.
And good to know that the new neighbors own a dog. And possibly a cat. But Olivia and Levi forgot to ask. No one saw either the cocker spaniel or a cat, if they owned one. But the two kids were most likely not going to stay for long. As if the Cranston's actually had plans for today. Oh wait. They were all going over to Elizabeth Baranovsky's house later today. And they might have a pizza or two. But probably not. And Louise Baranovsky and her family were also going to Elizabeth's. They have always served as the balancer in these occasions.
In THIS occasion, however, Olivia served as the balancer. She wanted to make more than small talk with the new neighbors. Levi wanted to eat a whole pizza. And he wanted to play with a cat. Olivia figured that, before they DID have some obligations, why not have some time to converse? The new neighbors actually moved closer to the Leyman's, but they were a pretty close walk still. Levi was still thinking about eating a whole pizza. Olivia was not thinking about eating a whole pizza. But the new neighbors were probably going to have at least two whole pizza. Why not invite Olivia and Levi to lunch, where pizza might be served? Or fried chicken, which would be a close second?
"So, what is your name?" Olivia asked the new neighbor.
"Our last name is Potti. My name is Mike, and my wife's name is Abbey," said Mr. Potti.
"Do you have any kids?"
"Mike and Andrew. They're twins, and they are both 15."
"They are close to our sister's age. She's 14," Olivia replied.
"Oh wow. So they will probably get to meet each other in the near future," said Mr. Potti.
"Most likely. Are you kids going to be in high school?"
"They will be starting out as freshmen."
"Where did you move from?"
"North side of Valpo. We kinda wanted to be in town."
In a matter of minutes, the Potti's needed to do more packing and unpacking. And they probably were going to order at least two whole pizzas for lunch. Olivia and Levi walked back to their house, a couple blocks south of where the Potti's live. Once they were back home, Evelyn Maeve wanted to go on a walk around the block. Levi wanted to eat a whole pizza, but he probably wouldn't get one until they got to Elizabeth's house. So, with this in mind, he just wanted to play video games right now. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve decided to go on a walk around the block. They decided to walk toward the Leyman's house. And the Potti's house, for THAT matter.
"We met some new neighbors today," Olivia said to Evelyn Maeve as they were walking toward the city square.
"Oh really? Will you show me their house?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"Did you actually get to meet their family?"
"Levi and I just met their dad," Olivia replied.
"What is their last name?" Evelyn Maeve felt compelled to ask.
"Potti. I think it's Italian."
"Do they have kids?"
"A set of twins around your age."
"Boys, girls, or both?"
"Both boys. Their names are Mike and Andrew. And that’s where the Potti's live."
Olivia and Evelyn Maeve saw the house where the Potti's live. The house, like the other houses on the street, looked older. The two girls continued to walk further north on Elmhurst Avenue. They walked toward the Leyman's house, on Elmhurst near Ridgeland. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve walked further north until they reached Bond Avenue. Then, they turned right at Bond. Olivia has remembered having to go in this directions at least ten times in her life in Valpo, just to get video games that Adam Dahnwright had taken from Levi. And Adam's sidekick, Randy Lindt, or the Fat Pigeon, also lives around here. However, he doesn't live on Bond. He lives on Madison, close to Bond.
Olivia didn't care too much about seeing Adam's house. But she and Evelyn Maeve had really hoped to see the garden on Campbell and Harrison, still a ways north. They didn't have anything going on until this afternoon when they were going to visit Louise and her family, who live on Lafayette Street. And Olivia and Evelyn Maeve had at least another seven minutes before they'd even get to the gardens. But at least they were going there. There was quite a breeze to offset this somewhat humid weather. And it might be supposed to rain later on today. If so, then Victoria, Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve would probably play with the nephews. If not, then Levi would most likely play one-on-one basketball with Brian, Louise's husband. And Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve would probably play with the nephews.
"I know Levi really wanted to shoot hoops with Brian," Olivia remarked.
"Yeah. I might watch them play," Evelyn Maeve replied.
"It's quite amusing AND entertaining."
"Well, they're both really good at basketball, and it's just fun to watch them compete against each other," Olivia said.
"That's true. They're both really good," Evelyn Maeve stated.
"I might take the nephews out to the park to watch them."
"That would be fun."
"Would Victoria be interested?"
"I would assume no."
From The Magic Video Game 3: Mystery of the Island
Benny and I had spent pretty much the whole day looking for the key. With no luck, of course. I was ready to throw a box out the freaking window. I was that upset. And we didn’t really have that many clues to go off of. With this in mind, we were pretty much on our own. I don’t believe that Levi and Asad found anything. And I also doubt that Jack and David could find much in the way of clues. I was starting to think that this whole situation might have been a scam, and there really was no key missing.
I don’t know for sure if Benny was also starting to feel the same way.
I was pretty serious when I said that I was ready to throw a box out the window. As a matter of fact, that had actually happened to me when I was fifteen. Half of the kids who came to Wakahakai have their tonsils. The other half does not. I happen to fall into the category of the other half. Levi had his tonsils taken out when he was in eighth grade, and I believe that was October of 2005 because he had asked Mackenzie to be his girlfriend a few days after his surgery. A few months later, I ended up getting my tonsils out for the same reason Levi had his out. However, mine was not an emergency, and his was. That’s the only difference. And it hurt like hell. I missed one full week of my freshman year of high school because of how god-awful the pain was. I had my tonsils taken out on a Saturday, and I went back to school two Mondays later.
So, how can I relate getting my tonsils out with throwing a box out the freakin’ window?
Well, it was day six, the absolute worst day of my experience. My throat was on fire, and I couldn’t help bawling my eyes out because of how painful it was to swallow. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even ice cream. As a result, this made me mad. I was so mad that I took a small cardboard box with a tub of vanilla ice cream in it, I opened up my bedroom window, and I threw the box out the window. Of course, my cat couldn’t stop staring at me because of what I had done. I was mad at the ice cream because it wasn’t helping me get better. I then looked out the window and realized that the ice cream had spilled over in the box, which landed on its side. The ice cream then spilled over into the driveway. At least I was lucky enough not to get the half-melted ice cream on the house.
When I finally had it in me to tell my dad in a raspy voice about what had happened, he didn’t get mad at me. My dad just laughed at me. To this day, my dad and I laugh pretty hard over the incident. Once his live-in fiancé and Jayneley, my older sister, found out about the crazy thing I did, they thought it was hilarious.
I told Benny when we decided to stop looking for the key, and he couldn’t stop laughing. I think the only person in the posse who doesn’t know is nobody. In other words, I told everyone else about what had happened, and they all could not stop laughing. I am forever thankful for my great sense of humor, and I’m glad that Levi, Jack, David, Asad, and Benny also have a great sense of humor.
Sorry if I’m sounding too arrogant, but that story is definitely an ego booster for my humor.
Benny would probably attest to that as well. We couldn’t stop telling each other the goofiest jokes that we could think of while walking in circles around the same area for about thirty times. It was great bonding time I’d say. Once we finished our thirtieth round of walking, it was already nine o’clock at night, and I wasn’t sleepy, especially when I found some ball that was lying on the ground. On our twenty-fifth round, I saw the ball, and I thought that it might have some meaning whatsoever. Benny and I picked it up, examined it, and thought about it for the time being. We were probably going to think about it for the rest of the night.
“Do you think this ball is worth anything?” I asked, once we sat down. I was starting to doubt the relevance of the blue and green high-bounce ball.
“Rhody, we shouldn’t give up now. It could be a clue to the mystery,” Benny replied.
“Do you think we should study it?”
“Might as well,” Rhody remarked.
“Doesn’t one of Darveda’s henchmen play tennis?” Benny asked.
“That is clearly a golf ball.”
“Well, if you say so. I thought it was a baseball.”
“That’s also possible.”
“I say we should still look over the ball.”
Funny thing is, my sense of sarcasm is the exact same as Benny’s, and Levi’s, for that matter. I really do consider Levi, Benny, and myself to be called the Tremendous Trio because our sense of humor is so similar that we even make ourselves laugh at our own jokes. We like the same music, the same movies, and even the same outdated video games.
I have known Benny since he joined “the entourage” or whatever we call our group with Nathaniel Linden, who now lives in Aurora, Illinois, and has been there since August of last year. We still keep in touch with him, but he’s obviously not in Valparaiso that often anymore.
He’s a pretty funny guy as well.
Benny and I were being pretty sarcastic tonight. We didn’t really want to move forward with the search tonight, but we did anyway. Benny and I both looked over the ball for quite some time, and then I discovered some small lines on the hi-bounce ball. My heart almost stopped. I was very relieved. If my heart stopped, then that would be bad news. At least it only almost stopped. Nevertheless, I was so excited that I thought my heart almost stopped. If I was going to be excited about what I had found, Benny was most likely going to be excited as well.
“Benny, look what I found!” I shouted, but then I was immediately reminded of something. “But I doubt if it really is a clue.”
“How do you know it’s not a clue?” Benny asked.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up too high.”
“Do you want to get your hopes up too high, Benny?” I questioned.
“No, not really, Rhody,” Benny replied.
“Should we try to make out the letters nonetheless?”
“I thought I was the one who thought this was a good idea.”
“It’s a great idea, Benny.”
“Thank you, Rhody.”
Benny looked at the lines, and he squinted because the writing was ungodly small. I then looked at the lines, and I squinted because the writing was ungodly small. I highly doubt that our eyesight is a perfect 20/20.
Benny wears contacts. I wear contacts. There you have it.
The only guy whose eyesight is nearly perfect is David’s, and I don’t think his is perfect either. Jack and Asad wear glasses, and Levi used to wear thick-framed glasses back in middle school, which made him look like a stereotypical nerd. I liked the look, though.
“Let’s look at the writing with a magnifying glass,” he said.
“Can we do it in the morning? I’m sleepy,” I answered.
“We may forget in the morning. Let’s do it now.”
“I don’t think we’re going to forget in the morning.”
“I will probably think only about bacon in the morning,” Benny stated plainly.
“I will probably think about bacon and the ball in the morning,” I remarked.
“Well, I am not tired at all.”
“Well, I am.”
“It shouldn’t take that long.”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
My eyes were drooping. I was now really tired. All I wanted to do was go to bed. All Benny wanted to do was have a nice strip or two of bacon, along with some hotcakes. I wanted them as well, but I was too tired to even think about that at this hour. I could still feel my eyes drooping, and Benny would continue to stare me down until I would have to pinch myself to wake up a little. He was pretty serious about doing research on the golf ball tonight. I, however, was not.
Majority rules, though. One person would get his way. The other person would not, and I believed that the odds were not in my favor tonight.
“Rhody?” Benny got my attention.
“What?!” I snapped.
“You fell asleep, didn’t you?”
“I must have.”
“Ready to investigate the tennis ball?” Benny asked me.
“Sure. Why not?” I responded, half-awake.
“I want to get this done as soon as we can.”
“Okay. Sounds like a plan. I’m assuming you’re not tired yet?”
“Nope. Not at all. Are you?”
“Sure. Maybe a little.”
After all but five minutes, I fell asleep, and Benny grew very frustrated. He had his hopes up too high, I believe. He was just hoping to get the so-called “investigation” over with tonight. I could not have cared less. I just cared about getting as much sleep as possible, and my sleep schedule has been messed up since I don’t know when.
“Darn! I wanted to find a clue, but I guess it is too late. My friend is asleep, but maybe I can wake him up,” Benny said to himself.
I think I could hear him saying that out loud to himself. He walked over to me because he apparently wanted to scare me. I knew for a fact that it was not going to work for two reasons. The first reason, I was still half-awake, so I was aware of what was going on around me. The second reason, I don’t easily get scared.
If some random person were to put a Jack-in-the-box by my pillow when I was still sleeping, I would not jump out of bed like a lot of people probably would. Levi, my neighbor and partner in crime, would also not jump out of bed. He would just get pretty mad. I know of that specific prank because he was the victim of the Jack-in-the-box wake-up prank. I was ready for what Benny was about to do to me.
“SURPRISE!” he shouted.
“What’s the surprise?” I asked, not scared at all.
“Let’s look at that ball.”
“How are you now?” Benny asked me.
“Fine, I think. How long was I asleep for?” I asked because I was actually very curious.
“Maybe fifteen minutes.”
“You looked like you were passed out, though.”
I made sure I was awake enough to investigate the ball with Benny. He had definitely asked for it. I found a nearby coffee machine where I could make my own delightful hazelnut coffee so that I could definitely stay awake. I returned with my coffee in hand, and we started investigating, which took us all but fifteen minutes. While Benny was looking at the text with the magnifying glass, I looked at the mysterious ball from another angle.
After all that time investigating….
“Get a load of this!” I shouted at Benny, looking at the text and smiling gleefully.
“What?” Benny asked me.
“We have a clue! Either Darveda or one of her henchmen probably picked up this ball and threw it here. It also says, ‘Property of Chickaeki Laie, passed down to godchildren Maila and Kuho.’”
“Is it written in marker?”
“Now that you just mentioned it….I have no idea. It’s purple ink, and it looks like it could be, or some mysterious ink? I don’t know,” I remarked.
“Probably marker,” Benny clarified.
“Let’s take it to Kaloi tomorrow morning because he knows a lot about forensics and mysteries and whatnot.”
“Or we could go with Jack and David because we all know they are going over to Kaloi’s tomorrow. We could show them the ball, and we could all be present when Kaloi does his investigation of the ball.”
“Why, thank you.”
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi was lying on his stomach on the couch. He had stayed up until about four o'clock in the morning watching his favorite boxing movies. He wanted to have that movie marathon with his dad, who stayed up until two in the morning. Mackenzie wasn't coming over until later today, try 4:30. It was only 10, and Levi was wide awake. He was hoping that he could go back to sleep, so he closed his eyes and tried to relax. Duchess, one of their cats, was on top of him, so that was quite reassuring. Prussia, the other cat, was on the floor, most likely trying to take in most of the sun's rays. It looked like a nice day, so Levi probably couldn't stay in bed too long. Or on the couch.
Duchess crawled over to Levi's left side and tried pawing at his messy hair. Levi was out of it again. His attempt to go back to sleep had worked, and he didn't care when he would wake up. Olivia saw him sleeping on his stomach on the couch, and decided to sit on the adjacent recliner. She thought that the sight of him sleeping comfortably was quite adorable. Especially when Duchess was right next to him. In truth, Levi looked very comfortable. Both of his arms were wrapped around the body pillow, which he was lying on top of. His hair looked messy, as usual, even when he wasn't sleeping. And his breathing was very loud yet steady. Olivia could even hear him snoring quietly.
"Levi, time to wake up, buddy," Olivia stated.
"No," Levi quietly replied in his sleep.
"It's 11. You should definitely get up now."
"I'm so sleepy. So, no."
"When did you go to sleep last night?" Olivia asked.
"I don't remember," Levi replied.
"You gonna go back to sleep now?"
"Want thirty more minutes to sleep in?"
Even though she didn't want to wake him up, Olivia really thought she had to do so. She walked over to where Levi was sleeping and shook him gently. After doing this, Levi moaned loudly. He didn't have a blanket that he was sleeping under, so he put one of his pillows over his head. This obviously meant that he did want to wake up. He was going on a date with his girlfriend, and he was hoping to continue dreaming about what today would bring. And Duchess was still on top of him. That added to the lack of motivation to get out of bed. Duchess was most likely not going to get off soon, so he was basically stuck there. To Levi, this made for the perfect morning.
"Levi, time to wake up," Olivia said to her little brother.
"No," Levi replied.
"Your thirty minutes are up, you know."
"Are they really?"
"Unfortunately," Olivia answered.
"Dang it," Levi remarked.
"Do you have a date with Mackenzie today?"
"Yeah, but not until later."
"Want thirty more minutes?"
"Nah, I'll get up now."
Levi finally got out of bed, his heart pounding. He wasn't quite sure why, but he figured it was mostly because he was going to see Mackenzie today. Or he might have some slight anxiety acting up. Whatever the case, he was just excited about seeing Mackenzie. Levi's hair was quite messy from moving around a lot in his sleep. He slept in what he wore that day: his favorite blue t-shirt and athletic shorts. And he wore his ankle brace, which he still needs to wear when sleeping. Levi was barefoot and totally cool with that. He really enjoyed sleeping on the most comfortable couch in the world, but he figured that now was a good a time as any to get ready for the day.
After all, it seemed to be really nice out. With all of this in mind, today looked very promising.
Olivia was making scrambled eggs for herself and Levi. She heated up some steak from the night before, and she figured that Levi would have really wanted that. After all, he and the kids' dad loves steak. But the kids' dad wasn't here. He went over to Victoria's apartment to drop off a few supplies that she had forgotten the last time she had come over. He was most likely going to be back in fifteen minutes. And Evelyn Maeve went with the kids' mom to brunch with a couple other girlfriends. Once Olivia was finished cooking breakfast, she set the two plates down, and Levi had obviously heard the sound of the plates from where he was, coming into the kitchen. He had gotten ready for the day and was now very hungry. And, as a matter of fact, so was Olivia.
"So, Levi, do you and Mackenzie have plans today?" Olivia inquired, forking a small piece of steak in her mouth.
"Whenever we don't have anything to do, I just let Mackenzie put her head against my chest and listen to my heartbeat. She likes it. I like it. What could go wrong with that?" Levi replied.
"That's very cute, I'll admit."
"Yeah. She seems to have some thing about it, which I think is very cute. Must be some natural instinct, ya know."
"Funny story. Cameron never let me do that to him. I guess he really likes his personal space," Olivia remarked.
"How are things going with him?" Levi asked.
"I think we're practically back together, but he is not the kind of person who's so touchy-feely, which is fine."
"Got any plans with him any time soon?"
"We're going to get fried chicken on Sunday with another guy friend of his."
"That sounds like fun. Did you save some steak for Dad? He'll want some I'm sure."
The rest of the time at home seemed like a complete blur. Levi wanted to make sure that he was more than ready for the day. He had put on his favorite shirt, dress to impress. At least that is his philosophy. And there could go nothing wrong with that. He then got into his car and drove over to Mackenzie's house on Candlewood Drive, a ten minute drive north of his house on Elmhurst Avenue. He put on his favorite rock CD and rolled down the windows while he turned the music up. This was quite calming for him, yet exciting. When he drove into Mackenzie's driveway, he was so sure that she could hear his loud heavy metal music from inside her house. Levi turned off his car and walked up to the front door, and Mackenzie greeted him before he could even ring the doorbell.
"Hi Mackenzie," Levi greeted his girlfriend at her front door. He decided to wear his tuxedo print t-shirt.
"Hey Levi," Mackenzie greeted back to her boyfriend. She was wearing a blue sundress with green flip flops.
"You look pretty today."
"Thanks! I like your shirt."
"Thanks! So....where would you like to go?" Levi asked.
"Our favorite park?" Mackenzie requested with a smile.
"Then we should get ice cream at our favorite place!"
There wasn't much question as to what Levi and Mackenzie had wanted to do. They both had their hearts set on going to their favorite park in Valparaiso, which is only a few blocks due north of where Levi's house is. Levi wanted a relaxing date. And, for that matter, so did Mackenzie.
They didn't want to do anything too extravagant today, even though Levi's shirt might potentially indicate otherwise. And Mackenzie's dress as well, since it is a nicer dress. All Levi and Mackenzie needed to do was grab a thin sheet from the hall closet so that they could have something to lie on, as opposed to just the grass. Once they found a nice blue sheet, they left for their favorite park.
They wanted to walk a little as well. However, they were really hoping to just lie on the grass and think positive thoughts.
Levi and Mackenzie lay on the grass and stared at the sky. They didn't really want to talk right now. Instead, they just wanted to enjoy their time together. Mackenzie took her right hand and put it on Levi's chest, so that she could feel his heart beating and his breathing. This was quite relaxing for Mackenzie, and this was definitely relaxing for Levi. She was enjoying feeling her boyfriend's chest pulsing against her hand, and he was enjoying his girlfriend's presence. A few minutes later, Levi took his left hand and put it over Mackenzie's hand, so they could both feel his heartbeat.
Levi was thinking long and hard about something that has been on his mind for a while. However, he was trying very hard to push it out if his mind. Even though this might have been the case, he felt as if he needed to get it off his chest.
"Hey, Mackenzie?" Levi got his girlfriend's attention. It took her a little while to get out of "the zone" because she was in it for so long.
"Yes?" Mackenzie asked, a few seconds later.
"Have you ever thought about actually getting married?"
"Not really. Have you, Levi? Be honest."
"To be honest, not at all," Levi remarked, and Mackenzie could feel Levi's pulse speeding up.
"I think we are on the same page," Mackenzie semi-joked.
"I honestly just don't see the point in it. My mom is encouraging us to get married someday. My dad doesn't care. And I don't see how it's worth it."
"I totally agree."
"And, besides, I think I'm already married to you."
"You stole my heart, Levi."
"No. You stole my heart."
Mackenzie was still in the mood for concentrating on Levi's strong and steady heartbeat. To her, this was a reassuring feeling that their relationship would last a long time. And it has. Mackenzie and Levi have been together for nearly nine years, and their relationship has always been quite strong. To Mackenzie, feeling Levi's heart beating was also a reassuring feeling that she was in a safe place with him. Naturally, she would feel that way. And so would Levi.
"This is so peaceful," Levi remarked, half awake.
"Yeah, and add your heartbeat in there," Mackenzie said to Levi as she gazed at him and smiled.
"I can actually feel my heartbeat through your hand."
"Definitely," Levi remarked, following a heavy sigh, meaning that he was beyond relaxed.
"I never knew I'd be so lucky," Mackenzie stated.
"I was thinking the same thing. I'm glad that I've known you since middle school."
"Got any good pickup lines for me?"
"Oh God. Can't think of any right now."
The two kids were still lying on the ground at their favorite park in Valpo. Levi was starting to drift off into a blissful sleep. But then he had to catch himself from doing so because he still wants to spend more time with the love of his life. He wanted to get ice cream from his favorite ice cream parlor in downtown Valpo. Or the ice cream that costs about 50 cents at a fast food joint would count as well. Mackenzie also wanted ice cream, so they were both in for quite the evening.
"What kind of ice cream do you want?" Levi asked, still anchored to the ground, because his girlfriend's hand was on his chest, and also because he was still relaxed.
"Well, I'd say I'm in the mood for horchata," Mackenzie replied.
"Horchata is my favorite flavor as well. However, I do also like a mean Italian ice."
"I like watermelon Italian ice."
"I like any Italian ice," Levi stated.
"Italian ice is really good," Mackenzie said.
"I'm a quarter Italian, so I guess that kinda makes sense."
"I'm also part Italian, so that also makes sense."
"You're too cute, Mackenzie."
"You're really cute as well, Levi."
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