Written by Danny
Chapter - 11
Love can keep us warm
With my mind lost to an earlier period in time my body continued walking toward the centurion's high perch as though that destination had been preprogrammed into my feet. It wasn't until I heard someone shout, that my thoughts were snatched from past memories and dropped back into the here-and-now.
My feet came to a halt less then two feet from the cliffs edge.
I stretched my neck out, looked over and saw the jagged rocks below. There was a fairly cool breeze blowing in from the ocean and I figured out how the centurion had been able to stand up here in the sun for hours on end without sweating to death or suffering heatstroke.
"Whoa!" I exclaimed.
"You going to keep walking into your next life?" the centurion said mockingly, "If so, could I have the food first?"
With one last glance over the edge I gave a whistle before saying, "Yep, that probably would have hurt like h..." I was cut short before I could finish my thought.
"Say it and I'll send you back down with a sour backside." The centurion said and I knew he wasn't just joking around.
"Sorry Tom, I was..." I started to say.
"Back on your ship?" he finished for me and it wasn't lost on me that he said it was my ship.
I shrugged and answered, "Uh, yeah I guess so."
I kicked a pebble and sent it plummeting over the cliffs edge and walked over to Tom Segal.
As I handed him the food that Mrs. Otteranski had prepared for him I tried to sound amusing, "I know you're probably not very hungry..."
Tom stuffed something into his inside pocket, "Hungry? I could eat an entire cow, anus and all and still have room for Jell-O!"
I felt my stomach give a little heave, "Uh, yeah... Ok, that was just gross!"
Tom smiled as he took the plate from me and his scared face stretched making him look almost normal but then he waved his hand in front of his nose, "You step in something on the way up here?"
I felt myself redden as I realized that while I had been absentmindedly reminiscing and wandering up to deliver his food, I had managed to generously soil myself.
"From the looks of it, I'd say you fell in it too." Tom said shoving toast past his scar creased lips.
I looked down to see that I had sprung a serious leak in the back and poop was smeared all the way down the backs of both of my legs.
"Sorry," I managed to say.
Tom waved a strip of bacon at me, "Ah, forget about it kid."
He shoved the bacon into his mouth and continued talking.
"Several years ago I was in
I sat down on a rock several feet away and made sure I was downwind from Tom so that my foul stench wouldn't spoil his appetite. I had to fold my arms around myself to stave off a slight chill from the ocean born breeze.
I couldn't help but giggle at Tom's little story, "You really had to shovel elephant poop?"
"Was it heavy?" I asked.
"Smelled like peanuts too." He said and after a second or two I saw him smirk.
I laughed, "No it didn't!"
He laughed with me as he continued eating.
"By the way, thanks for helping me again last night." I said after several minutes of watching him eat.
"Huh? Oh well you know... I have a vested interest in keeping you alive." Tom said making it sound as though it were just in a days work.
"Yeah right and it wasn't because you were the least bit concerned for me?" I said trying to get him to admit he really does care for me as much as I do for him.
He looked at me with his one good eye, swallowed and said, "Maybe."
"I love you too!" I said and watched for his reaction.
He stopped eating and stared at his plate before finally saying, "Listen Simon, I've told you before, all you have to do is tell me the truth and..." he stopped, thumped his chest and belched.
I just smiled knowing that he didn't really want me to tell him the truth because we both knew that it would mean he'd have to go.
I looked out over the ocean and almost trancelike I softly offered, "I'll make you a deal. I'll tell you everything if you tell me how you managed to survive the plane crash."
Tom nearly choked on his eggs. He spat his food on the ground and tried to sound upset as he said, "Oh no you don't! You made me promise never to tell you about that you little monster!" he picked up a bit of egg and chucked it at me. I couldn't help but laugh out loud as I dodged the scrambled embryonic poultry missile.
I laughed, "Actually,
"Really?" He shoved more toast into his mouth, "And you didn't kill him too?"
That comment took me by surprise. Actually, it was the first time Tom had ever let on that he knew that I had killed someone. For a fevered moment I wondered if he had any proof and if so, would he turn me in.
After several seconds of tension so heavy it nearly crushed us both Tom laughed, "Only kidding Simon! Boy you really do need to lighten up!"
I laughed to but we both knew that neither one of us were laughing genuinely.
We sat and talked about stuff unrelated to the Banachelli or the events that took place aboard that ship. We talked about how Seagulls are just rats with wings, how pigs are the most perfect food and why ants are `Good Eating'. We continued on like that until Tom finished every last bit of food I had brought him.
"Alright kid, I best get back to work." Tom said holding the plate out for me to walk over and take from him.
"Mind if I hang on to the thermos?" he asked, "Incase I get thirsty later."
Somehow I knew that thirst wasn't an issue for him. He'd managed to find probably the only spot around here where the heat of the sun was offset by the cool water born breeze. Inside myself I shrugged and thought, "He's probably found a freshwater spring close by or knows how to pull water from a rock."
I walked over to him and took hold of the plate but he didn't let go of it. He was looking at me with his one good eye as though he was trying to read my mind.
I felt like I had to say something, "You know she's not coming back for me."
Tom let go of the plate, took hold of my wrists and pulled me closer, "I told you before; when I see her lifeless corpse lying in the morgue, then I'll believe you're safe and not before."
He smiled again and I leaned forward to kiss his cheek but he let go of my wrists and grabbed my entire face with just one of his hands. "Now go wash up! You smell like something that came out of an elephant!"
I pulled my face away from his hand but not before licking his palm.
"Oh that's just nasty!" he said wiping my saliva on his pants leg.
He took a fake jab at me, "Now! You keep that crap up and I might just have to get up from this spot!"
I laughed, "I don't know, I suppose I am the only kid in the world that has his own Cyclops bodyguard!" and stuck my tongue out at him before turning tail and running back toward the beach house laughing most of the way.
Chapter - 12
Wash Away The Shame
BJ met up with me about halfway back and I had to tell him why I was laughing. It was obvious that he'd noticed the poop on my legs and I had no doubts that he could smell me from a mile away except he didn't say a single word about it; that is until we got back to the beach house.
We messed around and took our sweet time getting back to the beach house with the empty plate. BJ went in first and stopped just inside the door. Of course this was deliberate because he knew I was right behind him. I collided with him and we both started laughing.
"Hey can't you see I'm stopped!" BJ joked.
I gave him a swat across the back of his head.
"That's my head!" he complained.
I came right back with, "You sure? `Cause it looks more like a rotten jack-o'-lantern to me."
I guess we both were expecting to find at least one of his parents inside but they both seemed to be missing.
"They're probably walking on the beach or something." I said giving him a shove to get him moving again.
"You going to change?" He asked.
I didn't mean for my next statement to come out sounding sarcastic but it did anyway, "Think I might just need more than a change this time."
BJ spun around and acted like he was going to spinning karate kick me however he miscalculated and made contact with my hip.
Now this didn't hurt, not even remotely but being quick thinking I dropped to the floor, grabbed my leg and started to moan.
BJ shouted, "Oh Simon I am so sorry. I didn't mean to!"
"My leg! I think you broke my leg!" I cried while trying not to smile or laugh.
When I had grabbed hold of my leg my hands became covered with poop, this wasn't part of the plan but since it happened I took advantage of it.
BJ rushed to my side, "Oh please be alright! I didn't mean it; really I didn't!"
I could tell he was about to break down crying so I figured I'd strung him on long enough. Before he knew what was happening I quickly reached up and whipped my hands down either side of his face. I could almost see his brain working as the realization struck him that I had been faking. It took several more milliseconds before it dawned on him that I had just smeared poop on his face.
Those few milliseconds were all I needed to get up and start running for the bathroom. Though I didn't bother to look behind me I was sure he was after me. It wasn't until I got to the bathroom that I saw he had not chased after me.
"I am so going to kill you for that!" I heard him say.
"No you ain't! I was just getting you back for kicking me!" I shouted back with my hands on the door ready to slam it closed and lock it.
I could hear him stomping toward the bathroom but suddenly I couldn't hear anything from down the hallway. A moment later BJ said, "Oh man you got it everywhere! It's even on the walls!"
My heart sunk into my stomach as I stepped out of the bathroom expecting to see poop splattered everything but as it turned out BJ had turned the tables on me. Just as I came out of the bathroom he pounced out in front of me and shouted, "GOT YA!"
I jumped backwards and screamed with surprise, "Dude you scared the crap out of me!"
"Yeah I know. I can smell ya!" he laughed.
"Did I really leave a mess out there?" I asked hoping that it was just a mean trick.
He laughed harder, "No not really! It was just too funny watching you run away with your butt all puffed out cause of all that poop in there."
"I can't believe you wiped your stinky butt grease all over me!" he groaned.
"Yeah but it's an improvement!" I teased.
He stomped his foot, "Get out of the way! I got to take a shower before you stink up the tub too!"
"No way! I am worse off than you! I should get to go first" I protest.
"You don't have poop all over your face and I do so I am going first!" he started to raise his voice.
"We can do it together." I tried to reason.
He screwed up his face, "Eeew, no way I don't want to breathe steamed butt grease!"
"What do you mean? You've been breathing it this whole time." I said.
"Tell me about it! And we have to keep smelling it the rest of the dang day!" he said.
"Not if I wash!" I protested.
BJ poked at the air, "Yes-huh, cause you got the whole beach house stinking like your butt and it won't ever get unstinkafied!"
"What?" I said with a squeaky voice.
BJ stifled a giggle, "You heard me skunk boy!"
"You best stop making fun of me!" I warned him.
"Hey you started it!" BJ fired back.
I countered with, "Uh, I do believe you started it by stopping in the doorway and making me run into you!"
"Wrong-O Buttinator!" BJ poked me, "You started it by pooping in your diaper like a little baby!"
We were both getting worked up now and neither of us was joking around.
"Yeah well I'd rather be a Buttinator than a Poop-head!" I shouted.
"Diaper Baby!" BJ screamed.
I was just about to give another comeback when we were both startled by, "Hey, hey, hey! What's with all the shouting?!" BJ's dad said.
For half a second he looked upset with the two of us but when he saw that we both were smeared with poop he exploded with laughter. What was worse is that before we knew he was doing it; he had pulled his camera phone from the pocket of his shorts and snapped a picture.
"Dad!" BJ shouted in protest and too late tried to cover his face.
"Now that I have this, what say the two of you clam up, strip down and get in the tub or I might just accidentally email this picture to everyone?!"
"You wouldn't?" I pleaded.
His dad raised the phone into the air, "You have to the count of ten. One, two..."
Before he had even finished saying `two' BJ was nearly nude and was reaching to turn on the water.
"That's mean!" I said without budging from the spot.
He made his cell phone dance enticingly.
"Mean? Yes I believe you are right! I also believe you are quickly running out of time. Three, four, five, six, seven..."
I was frantically trying to remove my clothes without hurting myself and without getting diaper gravy all over the place. BJ was already in the tub leaning against the back wall to keep the cold water from showering down onto his nude body.
Oh it's cold!" BJ grunted.
I was lifting my foot into the tub when BJ's dad said, "I think seven is enough." and pulled the bathroom door closed.
"You dad is the devil and you are the son of the devil!" I said shivering while I waited for the water to warm up.
"I'll agree with the first half!" BJ said with chattering teeth.
I don't know why his teeth were chattering because he wasn't the one that was standing under the cold water.
BJ looked at me and began to giggle like a little chipmunk.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
"You! You're who-who is all shriveled up!" he said while laughing and pointing at my tiny, tiny boyhood parts.
Finally the water started to warm up and quickly became too warm.
"Yikes! Hot-Hot-HOT!" I said while trying to adjust the temperature.
BJ exclaimed, "Oh now that's a gross sight! Rinse your butt off and then let me get under the warm water!"
I did just that, feeling both embarrassed by his comment and a little angry but after I let BJ stand under the shower to warm up he tilted his head back to allow the water to rain down over his face. He then started to hum a vaguely familiar tune.
"Hey what is that?" I asked.
He lowered his head and looked at me, "What's what?"
"What were you humming?" I asked again.
"When?" He asked back.
I reached up and pulled at my hair, "JUST NOW! You were humming a song! What was it?"
"I wasn't humming!" he disputed.
"Yes you were!" I argued.
He rubbed his naked belly, "I was?"
"I am so going to hurt you!" I warned.
"No really, I didn't know I was humming." BJ said, "What did it sound like?"
I tried to hum it back to him.
"Oh, yeah!" he chuckled and broke into song, "I'm Mister Green Christmas. I'm Mister Sun. I'm Mister Heat Blister. I'm Mister Hundred and One."
He reached out and picked up the bar of soap and held it like a microphone, "They call me Heat Miser. What ever I touch starts to melt in my clutch. I'm too much!"
"Hey I know that song; it's from... oh don't tell me." I squeezed my head with my hands as though it would help push the answer out like popping a pimple.
"Year without a Santa Claus," BJ answered.
"I told you not to tell me!" I groaned.
"Do you know the next part?" he asked.
I answered with a simple, "Well duhhhh!" and took the soap from him as I started to sing, "He's Mister Green Christmas. He's Mister Sun. He's Mister Heat Blister. He's Mister Hundred and One. They call him Heat Miser; what ever he touches starts to melt in his clutch. He's too much!"
There is probably something wrong with two adolescent boys showering together and singing children's Christmas songs but neither of us cared.
"That's a good song." BJ said trading me spots again so that he could start soaping up.
I handed over the bar of soap and said, "Yeah I think it is probably my favorite Christmas show too." I then asked, "Do you know the song for his brother the Snow Miser?"
It was BJ's turn to answer with, "Duhhhh!" which he only said so that he could mimic me.
He began to drum out the tune on his soaped up tummy and sang with all the flair of a Broadway show, "I'm Mister White Christmas. I'm Mister Snow. I'm Mister Icicle. I'm Mister Ten Below."
He broke into a drum solo.
"Yeah man, dig that funky jazz!" I said which made him laugh.
I knelt down in the tub and took over the drums using his belly, "Sing it man!" and he started singing again.
"Friends call me Snow Miser. What ever I touch turns to snow in my clutch. I'm too much! Take it away Simon!" BJ said.
I sang out with, "He's Mister White Christmas. He's Mister Snow!"
BJ bowed as though to the audience, "That's right!"
I continued to sing the chorus, "He's Mister Icicle. He's Mister Ten Below!
BJ's voice rang throughout the bathroom once again, "Friends call me Snow Miser. What ever I touch turns to snow in my clutch."
And I sang out the big finally, "He's too much! Bahdump-bump-bump!"
Chapter - 13
Time Keeps Leaking Through
I stayed in the tub for a few minutes after BJ climbed out. When I finally did turn off the water and stepped from the tub he was no longer in the bathroom. Also the butthead left the bathroom door standing wide open. I dried myself, making sure to be extra careful of my re-injured back. To keep from getting dirty again, instead of picking up my messy closes with my bare hands I used the towel I'd just dried off with and held it by the corners.
I wasn't surprised when I didn't find BJ in the room or anywhere in the beach house. I just figured he slipped his swimsuit back on and had gone back outside with his parents.
Before I bothered to get dressed again I had carried my soiled garments out and deposited them outside the front door. I didn't want to leave them inside to stink up the whole place and I honestly intended to do something about them right after I got myself dressed but it honestly slipped my mind. I had gone back to the room, found a fresh pair of GoodNites and slipped them on. However, while I was getting the GoodNite I happened to see my electronic journal. Having had such a vivid recall of past event this morning I decided to try to write it all down.
"Simon? Siiimmmooon? SIIIMMMOOOONNNN?" BJ's mom had to call my name three times before I finally heard her.
"Huh?" I grunted as I looked up from my e-journal.
"There you are!" she said spotting me sitting on the floor of the bedroom beneath the window.
I suddenly became aware of the fact that I had not finished getting dressed and was only wearing the GoodNite. When I had picked up my e-journal I had settled down under the bedroom window and started writing with no idea that the remainder of the morning had passed.
"What are you doing inside for heavens sake?" she asked with motherly concern, "Are you feeling ok?"
I nodded, "Yeah, just catching up!" I said and saved my work before turning it off.
"Well put on some shorts and a shirt and come have some lunch." she paused a moment
"Wow, it's lunchtime already?" I asked but Mrs. Otteranski had already gone.
As I got to my feet I realized that while I had been writing I had totally soaked the GoodNite I'd just put on.
I returned my e-journal to my bag and pulled out my red, white and blue shirt. From the front everyone thinks it is a patriotic shirt but on the back it has big white letters that spell out 'PEPSI'. I don't know who got it for me, probably mom, but I like it `cause it's actually about three sizes too big and hangs down past my knees. I didn't bother to put on shorts; I figured since my shirt covered more than enough I didn't need shorts on as well.
"Ham or turkey?" Mrs. Otteranski asked when I started to sit down at the table with BJ and his dad.
When I didn't answer right away she asked, "You sure you're feeling alright?"
"Yeah, really!" I answered back.
BJ's dad asked, "Something happen this morning that's got you upset?"
I shook my head, "Really I am ok, nothing happened."
I looked from Mr. Otteranski to Mrs. Otteranski and then to BJ who was giving me a look like he thought I was lying.
"What?" I rudely asked him.
BJ quickly looked down at his sandwich without saying anything.
I felt like I was missing something, "Honest, I am fine!" I said almost yelling.
Mrs. Otteranski did that look that moms do
when they don't really believe you but they say they do anyway, "Alright,
if you say so," she turned back to the counter and repeated, "Ham or
This time I didn't allow even a millisecond to pass without answering which probably wasn't the right thing to do since it made it seem like I was now trying to make them think nothing was wrong.
"Ham please!" I said.
When she handed the plate to me it contained two halves of a sandwich cut diagonally, two pickle wedges and a mountain of potato chips. Without my having to ask BJ passed the ketchup 'cause he knows I like to dip my chips into the ketchup.
I was taking a bite of my pickle when out of the corner of my eye I saw BJ staring at me. He must have realized I saw him `cause he quickly moved his eyes off me.
I couldn't take it any longer. I threw the pickle on my plate and shouted, "What? What? WHAT?"
I instantly felt like a jerk for blowing up like that and because I nearly scared the life right out of BJ's mom.
Mr. Otteranski shot a look at me that said I was skating on thin ice.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to yell." I quickly apologized.
BJ finally spilled the beans, "I seen you crying," he said very matter-of-fact like.
"Huh? I wasn't crying." I said.
BJ nodded his head, "Yeah you were; while you were writing in your journal you were crying. I asked you what was wrong and you told me to," he stopped and looked at his dad before saying, "F off."
I was abundantly confused now.
"I didn't say nothing like that! You're lying!" I said accusingly.
"I didn't!" I said turning to Mrs. Otteranski.
"Yes you did and I told dad and he said to let you alone so I did." I could tell BJ was more than a little upset.
I looked down at my sandwich, "But I don't remember saying it." and my voice cracked.
"Simon?" Mr. Otteranski said softly from across the table.
Confusion and shame had consumed me and I couldn't look up at any of them. I swallowed hard against the lump rapidly forming in my throat and managed a faint, "I'm sorry."
Nothing else was said about it while everyone finished their lunches and though I did not feel like eating mine I also didn't want to make BJ's mom upset anymore than I already had so somehow I managed to force myself to eat what had been given to me.
After lunch BJ's dad took me outside and I was sure he was going to yell at me or give me a lecture but instead he picked up the bundle I had deposited earlier. He put his other arm around my head and pulled me close to his side as we walked to the water to rinse my soiled garments.
On the way back to the beach house BJ met up with us about halfway.
"You going swimming?" His dad asked him.
"Mom said I got to wait for twenty more minutes." BJ answered.
Mr. Otteranski patted my head and said, "Go on, I'll hang these things up to dry."
BJ and I started walking back toward the water but neither of us spoke right away. We stood side by side at the waters edge looking toward the horizon.
I finally had to ask, "Did I really say that to you before?"
"Yeah, you were being a jerk!" he said not trying to spare my feelings.
"I'm sorry!" I said, "I really don't remember saying it!"
"Why were you so mad at me?" he asked.
I am not sure why I did it but I turned and threw my arms around BJ.
"Please forgive me!" I blubbered, "I didn't mean it! Really just forgive me."
BJ wiggled and wriggled trying to get free of my bear hug, "Gee-whiz Simon let go!"
I didn't let go.
"You better not get snot on me!" he complained and finally laughed as he pushed me away.
I laughed too as I teased, "Awww come on, give me a smooch so I know you ain't mad no more," and puckered my lips.
"Get away!" he laughed and pushed me away again.
We walked along the beach for longer then the twenty minutes that his mom said to wait for before the two of us went into the water. Not wanting to get my shirt wet and knowing I only had a GoodNite on under my shift, I only went in up to my calves. BJ on the other hand swam out a good distance from the shore. He kept diving under the water, swimming down to the bottom and bringing up shells, rocks and other underwater treasures. Several times he swam back to show me something he'd found. The last thing he brought back was a big shell that was sort of shaped like a twisted ice-cream cone.
Teach me to love for goodness sake
That afternoon was the hottest day during our stay at the beach and when BJ had brought back the sea shell shaped like an ice-cream cone we both decided the sun was getting to us. We headed back to the beach house hoping that there was ice-cream to be had.
However, when we got back his mom and dad were not to be found anywhere. We were both starting to panic just a little when we heard someone coming up on the beach house. We raced to the door only to find that it wasn't them.
"Tom?" I asked surprised to see him down at the beach house.
"Where are my mom and dad?" BJ asked in a stern tone as though he were accusing Tom of having something to do with their disappearance.
Tom's face split into a jack-o-lantern grin as he said, "I killed them and ate their brains with a nice glass of white wine and used their skin to make myself matching socks and underwear." He started to rub his hips provocatively as he swooned, "Oh and they fit so snuggly!"
BJ was laughing so hard I thought he was going to pee himself. I think it was a blend of concern, nervousness and finding that statement sickeningly funny that did him in.
I shook my head as I giggled, "Tom you are sick! You know that right?"
"Brought the thermos back." he said holding it out for me to take.
"More likely you came down to see if there was anything else to eat!" I joked as I took the thermos and purposefully stepping on his shoe. I had to duck to keep from getting smacked in the back of the head for that one.
Tom made a hissing sound, "Oh no, I couldn't eat another bite; not after that snake!"
BJ suddenly stopped laughing, "You at my parents and a snake?"
"What snake?" I asked.
"This one!" Tom said pointing to his bloated belly.
"Mega-barf!" I remarked, "You really ate a snake?"
"Raw?" BJ questioned.
"Of course not..." Tom said as though it were the dumbest question ever asked, "I cooked it!"
"How?" I asked knowing even before I said it that I was besting BJ's dumb question.
Tom raised his hands over his head, looked up and began to chant, "Oh great and mighty Thor! I beseech thee to send down a lightning bolt and cook this serpent which I have slain!"
"Yeah ok, you don't have to rub it in!" I whimpered.
BJ was looking green around the gills and I was a little surprised that he asked, "What did it taste like?"
"Like rabbit," Tom answered so fast that it was clear that he'd been expecting one of us to ask it.
I knew my next question would get a smart-aleck response but somehow I couldn't stop myself, "What does rabbit taste like?"
Tom tried not to smile when he said, "Tastes a lot like snake!"
I threw my hands up, "Uuuuugggggghhhhhh!" and made both of them laugh.
"No really?" BJ asked again, "What does snake taste like.
Tom thought for a second, "You ever eat chicken that was dry and chewy?"
BJ stuck out his tongue and made a sick face, "Blucky!"
"Hey, don't like it until you've tried it!" Tom joked.
"By the way, I ran into your parental units while they were out for a stroll. They looked like they could use some time alone so I sent them to my camp site." Tom said pointing over his shoulder with his thumb.
"Cool," I said and added, "BJ can be a real handful sometimes." and before I even finished saying it I had jumped forward and hid behind Tom.
BJ crossed his arms over his chest and pouted but then his expression changed to one of confusion. "Parental Units? What planet did you fall from?"
"Oh and to think I volunteered to baby-sit the two of you," Tom groaned.
In unison BJ and I shouted, "HEY!" and BJ followed up with, "Who you calling babies?"
Tom reached around behind himself, took hold of the top of my head, and moved me around front at arms distance away. He glared at me with his one good eye and said, "Did I stutter?"
I knew that was a slam on me and I wasn't going to stand for it! I swatted his hand away, held up my fists and using a bad Japanese low-budget movie voice dubbing I said, "Hey," I continued to move my lips without speaking before I voiced, "you can't say that," I did more none verbal lip movement before finishing with, "about me!"
BJ had followed my lead and was moving in for the attack with true ninja stealth. I think we both saw Tom reach inside his coat where we knew he kept his gun. We froze in place as his hand started to come back out. It happened so fast that BJ and I didn't have time to take cover. Tom had pulled out a water pistol and began firing at us. It was one of those battery-powered squirt guns that you only have to pull the trigger once and it keeps firing a jet of water until the gun is empty or you release the trigger. In no time Tom had emptied its contents onto the two of us.
For several second BJ and I were stunned which gave Tom the time he needed to retreat back out the door and run toward the water.
I looked at BJ as I said, "He's out of ammo!"
BJ added, "Lets get him!" and the two of us began to chase Tom.
We could see Tom already down at the beach bent over refilling his water gun and I remember wondering how he got to the water so quickly.
Tom turned and seen that BJ was doing a superman right at him but being the trained fighter that he is, Tom ducked and let BJ sail right past him. BJ's body skipped on the surface of the water twice like skipping stones.
I had incorrectly assumed that Tom hadn't seen me coming up behind him and that he was too busy watching BJ skid across the waters surface. Just as I was about to attempt to sweep his leg out from under him he rose up, caught me by the hips and gave me a sideways flip. I still don't know how I ended up landing on my feet facing away from Tom but I do know what happened next. I felt a tug from behind and then something slimy was wiggling around inside the back of my GoodNite. Before lunch I had changed into a dry GoodNite and put on my Pepsi T-shirt but hadn't bothered to put on shorts... I regretted that decision now.
"FISH IN MY PANTS! FISH IN MY PANTS!!!!!" I screamed as if I were being murdered.
I had no choice at all, I had to strip naked from the waste down right there on the beach. No sooner had my fish filled GoodNite hit the sand than I took off for the house but I didn't even make it two steps before Tom caught hold of me and flipped me again. However, this time instead of landing on my feet, I found myself draped over his shoulder and was being spanked fairly hard on my bare bottom.
I lied and said, "My back, you're hurting my back!"
Tom took me serious and started to put me down but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep a straight face.
"I'll teach you to lie to me!" he said sounding serious but I knew he wasn't.
BJ was sneaking up behind Tom so to keep his attention on me and give BJ a fighting chance I jumped backward, faked as though I were going to try to escape to the left but instead I went right. It worked! BJ jumped onto Tom's back and nearly toppled him face first into the sand. This time while BJ was keeping him busy I spun around and ran for my life.
Behind me I heard BJ cry out, "Run Simon, run!"
And Tom shouted, "Come back here and take your medicine you bare butt varmint!"
There was no way I was going back but I did hazard a glance over my shoulder. To my horror Tom was running at full speed toward me with BJ hanging upside down over his shoulder.
"Simon look out he's coming!" BJ warned.
I think there was only one other time in my life that I had run that fast and that had been when Jasper's dog had chased me out of their backyard. It also struck me that once again I found myself running for my life while leaving my pants behind.
Knowing Tom was hot on my tail I was putting every ounce of spare energy into my legs. I was pumping my arms back and forth and pulling my knees up to my chest one after the other like some sort of machine. My left foot hit the porch with a wooden sounding thump and I felt a hand graze my right shoulder. Had I been a tenth of a second slower I am sure he would have caught me and I guessed that carrying BJ was slowing him down a little.
Once inside I ran around the far side of the table and shouted, "No rowdying in the house!" but when I turned around Tom wasn't there.
"SIIIMMMOOOONNN HEEELLLPPPP!" BJ cried out.
I ran back to the door and Tom had BJ pinned to the ground and was tickling the life out of him.
"SSSTTTOOOOPPPPP!" BJ cried as his arms and legs swung about wildly trying to get away.
I launched myself off the porch and onto Tom's back but my plan had been to allow BJ a chance to get away however Tom flung me around and dropped me face down across BJ's body so that the two of us resembled a human version of the letter X.
"NO FAIR!" BJ screeched, "You are bigger then us!"
I rose off BJ and onto my knees. We both looked around for Tom but he was all the way up on the porch lowering himself into the porch swing.
"Hey, snake does the body good!" Tom said with a mocking laugh.
BJ was brushing the sand from his back when he said, "It's Milk does the body good you brute!"
Tom only had to act as though he was going to come after us again to make us both flinch and get ready to make a break for it.
Rubbing his belly he moaned, "It's not good to run on a full stomach," and then belched impressively.
"Wow!" BJ laughed, "That was loud!"
Tom thumped his chest and said, "Almost got to eat that snake a second time there."
I groaned "Eeeeeew, that's sick!"
"Tell me about it," Tom said.
The three of us continued to play for a long while until we were exhausted. BJ was the first to retreat to the beach house to rest in the shade of the front porch. Tom and I soon followed but I hadn't had much choice in the matter. He had carried me, upside down to the porch. There wasn't anything I could do about my shirt falling down around my chess exposing my nudity. When he lowered me headfirst to the wooden floor I thought about wrapping my arms around his leg to keep him from getting away again but I was too pooped! I just wanted to rest a bit after all that fun.
Not long after we had settled on the porch I felt like I needed to get diapered before I wet on the porch. I left the two of them sitting on the swing while I went and hunted down a new GoodNite to put on.
When I returned BJ and Tom were still on the swing but they both had Popsicles. "Hey, where's mine!" I whined.
BJ held out a Popsicle that he'd got for me too. I settled down on the end of the porch allowing my legs to dangle down while I enjoyed the cool and refreshing banana flavored Popsicle. A minute or so later I spotted a small prop plane crossing the horizon.
Open your arms to me
That small two-seater plane was all it took to steal my thoughts from the moment. However, it was Tom that managed to keep me from slipping away into the past once again.
"Hey what was that for?" I complained when one of the cushions from the porch swing had collided with the side of my head.
"You looked like you had left us, so I brought you back." Tom said with a suggestion of comedy in his voice.
I tossed the cushion back to him and BJ said, "Well that was dumb, now he can throw it at you again.
"Not if he wants to live!" I shot back without looking at either one of them.
"Boy? You are lucky I am so comfortable right now or I would..." Tom then laughed, "Oh forget it!" and with no warning at all backhanded BJ with the cushion.
"What was that for?" BJ groaned, "I ain't the one that was spacing out he was!" he said while pointing an accusatorial finger in my general direction.
I looked back toward the plane and asked, "That plane, it's a Cessna right?"
I didn't know if they could see it from the porch swing but it didn't really matter because I was sure it was.
Tom answered, "Well Cessna is a brand name but it very well could be."
"It's a lot like the plane we were in huh?" I added.
BJ surprised me when he answered, "Not really."
I looked over at the two of them on the swing. Tom added, "Yeah, it's smaller. The one we were in was a wee bit bigger and much older."
"You can tell that from that far away?" I said motioning toward the plane.
Tom made a snorting sound, "Well gosh golly gee willickers! Doncha knows I is ed-jew-ma-ca-ted?"
Despite my better judgment about acknowledging that stupid comment I couldn't help but chuckle because it was funny.
"Well it looks kind of like it to me." I said after several seconds of silence.
At first, I didn't even know I started thinking out loud and since neither of them butted in right away I began to verbally recount for them what I could remember from the moment just before Tom, Lowell and I crash landed.
"I had been staring out the window at the blue sky and the tree tops as they blurred past when a stutter from the engine snapped me out of a daze. I looked over at you Tom, and saw that you were either asleep or dead."
I paused when I almost looked over at the two
of them on the swing but forced myself not to look their way. I continued, "At
any rate your eyes were closed and your head was craned backward against the
headrest. I can remember screaming at you to wake up but instead of awaking you
up, I had woke up
For reasons that I don't understand I actually giggled to myself at this point before continuing.
Maybe I knew that I was giving voice to my thoughts because right then I looked over at Tom and said, "I could tell you had checked out!"
Tom's expression kind of caught me off guard. He was smiling and what made it worse was he tried to say something cute, "What? I couldn't take a little siesta?"
"Yeah, well it was a good thing you showed me how to fly the plane before you took your siesta!" I said using my fingers to draw quotation marks in the air when I said the word "siesta". I punctuated it by sticking my tongue out at Tom.
BJ must have been stunned silent or was scared to say something because he was just sitting there looking back and forth between Tom and I. I looked back up into the sky but the plane was gone now.
"I remember shouting at
I glanced over to BJ again and he seemed to be waiting for me to say something else.
"Well, I mean," I started to say to BJ, "wouldn't you be hysterical if someone woke you up by screaming in your ear and you opened your eyes only to see that you were about to die?"
BJ nodded, first to me and then to Tom. Tom then wrapped an arm around BJ and pulled him close.
"Tom?" I said softly while looking down at my dangling feet.
"Yeah?" Tom answered.
"I tried, I really tried!" I said with a lump forming in my throat.
"I know you did." Tom said.
"No, really I pulled back on that, that, that wheel thing. I pulled with all of my strength but it wouldn't budge. I think I even screamed out that it was stuck."
Despite my best efforts to keep from crying the tears began to escape from my eyelids and spill down my cheeks. I didn't look over but I heard Tom stand up and come over to where I was sitting on the porch. He lowered himself down behind me, wrapped his two strong arms around me and held me tightly while I wept.
"I can't remember what happened after that!" I sobbed. "I don't remember crashing or anything. I only remember opening my eyes and seeing nothing but trees above me."
I wiped my runny nose on my bare arm as I continued to talk through my tears, "I could also hear the sound of voices shouting as if from a great distance."
For the first time BJ said something, "The rescuers?"
I didn't look up, I just shook my head.
"So many things were coming into my head all at the same time and my brain even hurt trying to process them all. The best I was able to do was to catch glimpses of the thoughts as they ricocheted off the inside of my skull." I emphasized this point by randomly jabbing myself in the head with my index fingers until Tom took hold of my arms and held them tightly against my stomach. I was crying harder now and it seemed that the harder I cried the harder Tom would hug me.
"I thought about stuff like how much my butt was itching inside of my diaper; and why everything smelt like a car parts store. Then all at once all of the thoughts and questions ceased when I passed out again."
"Car parts store?" Tom asked softly into my left ear.
I just shrugged my shoulders because I didn't have a clue as to why everything smelt that way.
"Maybe it was because oil was leaking from the plane?" BJ offered.
I twisted my head around so that I could see into Tom's one good eye, "Could that be why?"
With a wink he acknowledged that it was; I then looked over at BJ, sniffled hard and then said, "I should have thought of that." And that made BJ grin proudly.
I wiggled a bit and Tom loosened his grip so that I could turn my body around and wrap my arms around his neck. When I did move, I heard the GoodNite I was wearing crinkle slightly but I didn't care. I rested my head against his shoulder and I stayed like that until my tears slowed and my breathing calmed.
BJ, unable to stand the prolonged silence asked, "How long until the rescuers found you?"
"It wasn't rescuers that found him," Tom answered for me.
BJ's voice jumped about four octaves when he asked, "It wasn't?"
"No," I said softly as I lifted my head from Tom's shoulder and wiped my nose on my arm again.
"Thank you for not wiping that on my shirt." Tom said comically and made me laugh as I sniffled.
Impatiently, BJ whined for more, "So who found you and how long were you out there?"
"I don't know how long I was lying out there but I do know that when I tried to reopen my eyes they wouldn't respond," I stopped talking long enough to stand up from Tom's lap and move over to the swing, "but then I thought that maybe they did open but it was so dark that I couldn't see anything. At least that is what I thought at first. Oh yeah, and I also had a dull achy feeling in my head."
I looked over at Tom who had turned and was now leaning against the porch post and looking up at me.
"While I was lying still I started to have a funny feeling inside." I said.
"What sort of feeling?" Tom asked with genuine interest.
"You know that feeling you get deep down inside when something is familiar but you're just not sure what?"
Both Tom and BJ nodded however it was BJ that asked, "Deja vu?"
"Yeah like that." I continued, "Anyway, I tried to take a breath but it was difficult to breathe. I wondered if I was having an asthma attack again but I wasn't feeling that same kind of pain that I normally get with my asthma attacks."
"Maybe you were still trapped in the plane!" BJ offered.
"Yeah, I thought that too but then I thought I smelled gas but it wasn't exactly the same as gas. And then I realized that it wasn't gas at all that I smelled."
"Well what was it?" BJ nearly shouted with excitement.
"Mothballs!" I said very matter-of-factly.
"Mothballs?" BJ and Tom said in unison.
I proceeded to explain to them the significance of mothballs.
"The first time I was taken I had been tied up in an old wool blanket that reeked of mothballs."
"No way!" BJ exclaimed.
"That's just what I said when I realized what I was again smelling. I stared screaming `No! No! No! No! This is not happening! I am dreaming! I am dreaming! No I won't dream this! No! No! No!' and I kept screaming my head off."
"Whoa, I bet you were!" Tom declared.
"I had tried to move my arms and legs but found that I could not move." I said and then screwed up my face in thought, "I can't really put into words just how frightened I was and how much I wanted it all to be a bad dream but at the same time I didn't."
BJ was looking at me with watery eyes and I added, "I know that probably doesn't make much sense."
"It makes perfect sense," Tom said.
Somehow my memories got a hold of me and took over. Tom must have seen it happen because he asked, "Simon, are you ok?"
My whole body began to shake and I don't mean just a gentle shaking but more like an earthquake inside my body. I abruptly felt like I was trapped inside that blanket again and just as I had done before, I cried out, "HELP! HELP!" as loudly as I could. Both then and now it was totally an act of desperation; I wasn't thinking rationally, I was in full panic mode.
With Tom kneeling before me, his mouth was moving but no sound was coming out; instead I heard a familiar low, harsh, and menacing man's voice growling in my ears, "A'ight you! We'll `ave none o' `at!"
I could see and feel Tom shaking me and shouting but I couldn't hear him. I was too focused on the voice; the voice that I knew at once and then I began to hear my own cries too, "No please, no! God no please not again!"
Out of no where I saw BJ's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Otteranski, come running up onto the porch but despite their lips moving I couldn't hear them either. Tom was holding me tightly now and slapping my face but I didn't feel it. Instead, just as it had happened back then, I felt what at first seemed like dynamite detonating throughout my entire body then inconceivable pain just before I blacked out. However, in the present I didn't black out. My body suddenly stopped shaking and I felt myself go limp almost like a candle suddenly melting in Tom's arms.
"Simon?" Mrs. Otteranski said and what's more, I heard her too.
My eyes rolled toward her; her face was streaked with tears and she looked horror struck.
"Mrs. Otteranski, you look terrible." I said without thinking.
She laughed fretfully and said, "I do?" and erased her tears with her hands.