A novel by Danny
One funny thing happened a little while after our guests had left. Karen had come upstairs to see if I needed changed, which I most certainly did. Nugget was reclinin' on my bed and I was sittin' near the foot of my bed. Karen looked at Nugget and said, "Unless you want diapered too you better get."
At first Nugget didn't move; I think he might have been shocked by her comment, or maybe he just wanted to be diapered like my two younger brothers and me. Whatever it was that caused him to hesitate was gone the second she moved toward him with a diaper in hand. With a fear filled cry he bounded off my bed and out the bedroom door like his backside was on fire.
I laughed through the whole diaper change and when he returned Nugget confessed that he thought she was really goin' to do it.
Kyle-Lee told him, "Well, she probably would have too."
And Kane who had been quietly reading a comic book added, "Yeah, you were smart to run."
I felt that I needed to add a bit of silliness into the heavy moment so I said, "Yeah and screaming like a girl as you ran away was a nice touch." I got two punches in the arm for saying it.
Whispering he asked me, "How can you stand havin' your sisters do that to you? Isn't it embarrassing?"
"Don't bother me none!" I said and he climbed back onto the bed.
"But you know what really bothers me?" I added once he was comfortable.
"What?" he said.
"Your face!" I joked.
All four of us laughed.
Nugget and I began readin' a book which we have to do a report on for school next week. The book is called `Father Martini's Children'. It's about this Italian monk that rescued hundreds of Jewish kids durin' World War II by smugglin' them through a tunnel under his church. At the end Father Martini was caught and executed and his church was burned to the ground. Since the book has 317 pages we both figured it would be so dang borin' and we had been puttin' off readin' it.
Before we started readin' I honestly felt at the time that I could have found somethin' else to occupy my time like counting each rock on our property. But Nugget convinced me that we really needed to get it read. Especially since our book report was due next week. About halfway into the first chapter we both started to like it and didn't want to stop reading. We even got in trouble `cause we were sittin' up in my room readin' the book even after pa had asked us to help wash dishes. When pa came back and we were still readin' he said it was good to be readin' but there is a time for readin' and a time for working. He then said, "You had best put the book down and get busy or else." Well, we could guess what `or else' meant so we slammed the book closed and got downstairs fast. However, as soon as the dishes were washed, dried and put away Nugget and I returned to my room and the book. That's where we stayed the rest of the day.
Nugget and I didn't know it at the time but we later learned that Saturday evenin' Pa, Kevin, Meggin and Mr. and Mrs. Griffith met at the church to have a sit down with our Pastor.
Ma was so upset that she couldn't go but Doc Wilson had put his foot down on that one. You should have heard him spoutin' off, "No! No! A thousand times no! The world was spinning long before you came down from heaven to take bodily form and the world will continue to spin long after you have returned to Abraham's bosom!" It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me but he went on and on like that until ma promised that she wouldn't try to trick pa or anyone else into takin' her to the church.
The two of us were up very, very late finishin' the book. Yeah we should have been sleepin' but we just couldn't stop readin'; that's how good the book was. A few times I got ahead of him readin' and a few times he got ahead of me; when that happened we would bug the other to, "Hurry up, will ya!" We were careful to keep our voices soft and low and stayed under the covers of my bed with a flashlight while we finished the book. As soon as we both finished readin' we began talkin' about how we would go about writin' the report.
Eventually we found ourselves lyin' side by side on my bed tellin' each other silly jokes and smotherin' ourselves with the pillow to keep from bein' heard giggling. Nugget kept pullin' his artificial hand off and doin' the weirdest things with it. He would stick one of the fingers in his nose, or in my nose. Once he took it and stuffed it down the front of my pajama pants and inside my diaper. It was funny but weird too. I guess that's why Nugget and me get along so well, we're both so weird that we don't care that the other is weird.
I don't know what time it was that we actually fell asleep but I'm guessin' it was around two or three in the morning, maybe even later than that.
I was awakened again because my bed was shaking. At first I thought maybe I was dreamin' but then I realized that I couldn't move and remembered that Nugget was in bed with me. He was lyin' on the left side of my bed and had his arm and leg draped overtop of me. His whole body was shakin' like he had been out in the cold.
"Nugget," I said softly but he didn't respond so I gave him a soft elbow in the stomach, "Nugget wake up!"
Only his right eye opened, the other was still buried in my pillow. I don't think he knew where he was or why he was seein' me but then he got this really upset look on his face and leaped out of my bed as fast as he could. He ran right out of the room and of course I followed him `cause I was worried that somethin' was really wrong.
He tried to close the bathroom door before I could get in too. "No, don't come in!" he whispered with a sense of urgency and fear in his few words.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"N-nothing! Go back to bed, please!" he pleaded.
I pushed the door open as I said, "Nugget come on; it's just me!"
He was keepin' his back to me and at first I thought he was cryin' but that wasn't it.
"Please let me alone?" he sounded like he was pleadin' for his life.
I reached out to touch him but he shrunk away.
"Come on, I am your best friend you can tell me what's wrong! And I promise I won't laugh or nothin' like that."
He sighed hard and turned, standin' with his arms down to his side. I reached out and flicked on the bathroom light. As I did he tried to say, "No don't!" but it was too late the light was on.
We both rubbed at our eyes tryin' to get use to the brightness and then that's when I seen it. The front of the pajama pants he was wearing, which were Kyle-Lee's pajamas, had an obvious wet spot.
Really, I didn't see any reason for him to be so worked up over wettin' the bed just a little. I mean he has known that I wet and that I wear diapers. Heck, he's even seen Kyle-Lee and Kane in diapers this past week and up close yesterday so I couldn't see what the big deal was.
"So ya peed a little!" I said with a shrug, "It's ok, I won't tell!"
He shook his head and spoke so softly that I could barely hear him, "... not pee."
"Huh?" I grunted.
Without lookin' at me he explained that he had been havin' a dream about this girl from school. "It was a dirty dream." He said softer still.
At first I didn't get it but then he gave details about the dream and I started to feel sick in my belly. At least I think I was feelin' sick, except it wasn't really a sick feeling... more like I had a belly full of grain moths.
Nugget finally looked up at me and frustrated asked, "A wet dream? You know what that is right?"
I shook my head.
He seemed very uncomfortable as he illustrated it for me. "When stuff comes out of your—you know what—while you are dreaming?"
I shook my head again. Not because I didn't get it, `cause I finally got it; no I was shakin' my head `cause nothin' like that had ever happened to me... thank God!
"Does it happen a lot?" I asked without even knowin' I had thought it.
"A lot?" I continued to probe.
He nodded again.
That feelin' in my belly was growin' and I probably shouldn't have asked him but I did anyway, "Does it feel good?"
He looked up again and grinned sheepishly while nodding, "Yeah".
"You never had that happen?" he asked me.
I shook my head as I said, "Never!"
"Basset said that it happens to everyone sooner or later." Nugget said and blushed.
Surprised by that statement I asked, "Basset said that?"
And then I started to wonder what girl at school could make Nugget act this way and I just had to know. "Why were you dreaming about."
He got quiet again.
"Come on tell me!" I said.
"No, better not." He said sheepishly.
"Nugget you best tell me or I am going to..." I jokingly shook a fist at him.
He actually smiled just a little. "Promise you won't laugh or tell?" he finally said.
"I promise." I answered.
"Cross your heart and hope to die." He added.
"Grrrrrr!" I growled like a bear at him and he smiled just a bit wider.
"Ok, well I sort of lied." He looked up at me to see how I was reacting but I was just standing there listening. "It wasn't a girl from school that I was dreaming about."
"Who then?" I said nearly on the tips of my toes with excitement.
"Karen," he said softly.
"Karen who?" I asked.
"Your sister you dope!" he said thumping himself on the head.
I slapped both of my hands over my mouth in shock. "Oh my... You ... I mean, her ... I mean ... You like my sister?" I squeeled from behind my hands.
"Hey, you promised you wouldn't laugh!" he said.
"Yeah but that was before you said you like my sister!" I giggled.
Once Nugget had calmed down and I'd promised never to tell a soul the two of us tiptoed back to bed. Neither one of us said another word to each other. I think we were both feelin' too uncomfortable.
After we lay there for a good while Nuggets quietly asked, "Are you still awake?"
"Yeah," I whispered back.
Nugget moved his mouth closer to my ear and asked, "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure!" I said.
I knew he was right by my ear `cause I could feel his hot breath as he asked, "Do you think God will send me to hell?"
How do you answer somethin' like that? I mean how am I supposed to know what God thinks about wet dreams. After lyin' there thinkin' for a few seconds I finally answered, "Yeah probably." for which I received a firm elbow in the ribs. We both laughed quietly and soon afterward we both tried to fall back to sleep.
That's when we heard my pa screamin' up the stairs, "Kids get up! Get up! The barn's on fire!"
Everyone, even those of us that had been so sick for the past week jumped out of bed, ran down the steps and outside. The barn wasn't blazin' yet but it was belchin' grey smoke and flames were lickin' out the side window closest to the house.
Pa was shoutin' to get the water hose and buckets. There was a loud crashin' sound inside the barn and our cow could be seen runnin' away from the barn. She must have kicked her way out of her stall to escape the fire.
Within ten minutes the whole barn was lit up on the inside and every window and door had flames shootin' out.
From the direction of the old house, now Kevin and Meggin's home, we saw lights flashin' off and on. Minute later we all realize it was Kevin drivin' his truck like a wild man behind the wheel. He had seen the flames and rushed to help but the fire was already more then we could deal with.
By the time the fire men arrived it was too late, the barn was completely engulfed in flames. Pa and Kevin were shoutin' at everyone to get back and we did just as the gas used in the tractor exploded. It felt like someone kicked me in the chest when the gas went and nearly knocked me over. It did knock Kathy and Nugget on their backsides.
At first the firemen tried to put the fire out, but with all the hay in there they quickly realized that they were fightin' a loosin' battle. Instead they focused on the house, hosin' it down with water to keep it from gettin' too hot and catchin' on fire too.
Pa, Kevin and one of the fire fighters had gone into the house to get ma out and bring her to a safe distance.
Later I found out that fireman was none other than Uncle Billy-Ray. He's not really our uncle but we call him that `cause he's just like family. When Billy-Ray was about my age he nearly drowned and it was my pa, his best friend that saved his life.
There was nothin' any of us could do but watch the fire. It seemed to burn for the longest time and when it finally fell in on itself I looked around to see that everyone was cryin' except for me and Nugget. Kane and Kristen were sobbin' hard and holdin' onto ma who was cryin' probably the hardest.
So many people we know from around here seen the fire and rushed over to help. Meggin's pa and ma were the first to arrive, even before the firemen came. The Hawthorn family that runs the junk yard came right behind the fire truck. Out of everyone that came, they live the furthest away and said they first heard the fire truck and when they looked out they seen the horizon lit up like a birthday cake.
It took until well after the sun was up for the firemen to put out the fire but it still smoked and popped for more than two days after that. Pa's truck was parked close enough that the whole driver's side was burned and the tires melted. Under the hood all the hoses and belts and things were melted too. Funny thing was, inside the truck nothin' at all was burned or melted except for the door panel and part of the dashboard. The tractor burned up in the barn as did all our chickens and all but one of our pigs.
It wasn't until nearly lunch time on Sunday when Kevin and Kathy came walkin' our cow back home that anyone realized that Whiskey was no where to be seen. As Kevin was comin' up on the porch pa asked him, "Did you take Whiskey with ya?"
"No, just Kathy," he answered, his words trailin' off at the end. And that's when the lot of us realized what pa had already figured out. Whiskey must have been in the barn to stay warm and was burned up too.
Well, somethin' else had happened about the time the firemen were gettin' the fire under control. With a wail that got every last person's attention ma started to have pains and everyone knew that the baby was coming.
Mrs. Hawthorn, who's nearly as old as God and probably the nicest lady I know `cause she always has candy in her purse and lets us sneak some durin' church. She had been kneelin' next to ma when the baby decided it was ready to come out. Mrs. Hawthorn told Kevin, pa and her son, Jed to pick ma up and carry her back into the house. All the rest of us could do was watch the firemen finish puttin' out the fire and stand around cryin' and feelin' useless while ma screamed inside.
Mrs. Hawthorn, Mrs. Griffith and Karen took care of ma and helped to deliver my new baby brother. When we heard the baby cryin' everyone started to cheer and hug on each other. It was Karen that ran out to shout, "It's a boy!" and the firemen all cheered along with everyone else.
Just about the time that church is usually lettin' out on Sunday the most incredible thing began to happen. Meggin's pa returned pullin' a horse trailer behind his pickup. In it were four beautiful pigs, two he gave to pa and two he offered to Kevin and Meggin. It was plain that Mr. Griffith was still sore about Kevin sneakin' off with his daughter but he was tryin' real hard to do right by them. Also in the bed of his truck were at least two dozen bails of hay. That wasn't it; also in the trailer were six sacks of feed grain and two enormous sacks of oats.
Not much longer after Mr. Griffith had brought all that, a parade of church goers, friends and other town folks started arrivin' one after the other. They brought chickens, turkeys, hay, straw, feed, seeds, tools and more food then we could eat in three winters.
The Pastor hadn't preached a sermon, he had got up in front of the congregation and told them what had happened durin' the night and then dismissed everyone. He didn't say for everyone to go get stuff and bring to us; he didn't tell them to do anythin'. Everyone just did it on their own out of the goodness within them.
Shortly before suppertime is when Nuggets ma and pa came to get Nugget. Since Nugget had slept over that night they had decided to take advantage and went to some fancy place; just the two of them. They had also given Basset the day off so it wasn't until well into the evening before they found out what had happened.
I think Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg were the most concerned out of everyone that came and it wasn't so much for Nugget but for all of us. I mean they were worries about Nugget but they also not satisfied until they got to see for themselves that each and every one of us were completely unharmed.
It was Mrs. Goldberg that asked ma the question that everyone else had somehow managed to not think to ask up until that very second.
"What's his name?" she asked while takin' the baby from ma and holdin' him in her arms lovingly.
Pa smiled so dang big I thought his face was goin' to split in half crossways. "Philip!" pa said proudly.
Nearly everyone in the room gasped with disbelief.
"But that doesn't start with the letter K!" Kristen objected.
Ma swatted at pa, "Stop teasing!"
Pa laughed, "I'm only kidding! His name is Kole Ross Doctavio!"
All the girls squealed.
"Oh I love it!" Karen said.
"Kole with a K, that' so beautiful!" Kathy added.
"I bet you don't even know how to spell Kole?" Kyle-Lee said to Kathy. She just shot him a mean look and then ignored him.
"Does this mean I am not the littlest no more?" Kane asked a little too loudly.
"You are not the baby of the family. Now you're a big brother too." Kevin said messin' up Kane's hair.
Kane thrust his fists triumphantly into the air and cheered, "YEAH!"
"Shush! You'll wake the baby!" Kevin said puttin' a hand over Kane's big mouth.
I went up to the baby, touched Kole's tiny little hand and he grabbed a hold of my finger. "Boy he's strong." I commented.
"Hi there Kole," I said softly to him, "I'm your big brother Kristian."
It was Nugget that started singin' softly, "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!" and the rest of us softly joined in, "Happy Birthday dear Kole! Happy Birthday to yooouuuuu!"