Thursday, October 8, 2015

They Were Dolphins, Chapter 7, Part I

The boy woke up in Alani’s house. Her house was appointed with a tropical Asian fusion motif. He had slept surprising well in the Star Wars sheets. The house was very cool and pleasant, almost cold, with an invisible air conditioning system. He was surprised and delighted when she presented him with a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs and breakfast sausage.

He felt like her house was more like a hotel room, although he had never been in one. He had seen hotels on television and had heard about how nice hotels were. So he imagined how a hotel room would seem, and then attached his experiences in her nice house to being in a hotel room. He associated all of the fancy things in her house as being fabulously wealthy: air conditioning, toilet paper hanging from a dispenser on the wall, towels folded neatly and laying in baskets in the bathroom, and curtains over all the windows.

After breakfast, he decided he would take off his sling. The doctor had said he only needed it for a few days. The television was on in the living room so he sat in a comfortable recliner and watched an episode of Wheel of Fortune. Alani came out and asked him how he was feeling. He nodded. On the screen, a puzzle phrase was listed with some letters and blanks that needed to be filled in.

O_T  O_  T_ _  _ L _ _

The boy spoke clearly, saying the solution and Alani started. She looked at the boy and marvelled at his intelligence. She was about to correct him for guessing too soon, but happy music and bright ringing tones blared from the television. The boy was correct.


She marvelled more at how he had figured it out and wondered what else he knew, even though he acted like a complete space cadet most times. She told the boy it was time to go to school. She asked him if he needed a ride to school. He declined because he preferred to walk.

He jumped up and solved another puzzle as he nearly ran out of the door.


He moved quickly up the street toward his house. He was suddenly impelled by a guilty feeling to return home. He had been living in the lap of luxury while his other had probably been lonely all night. He also wondered what had happened to his brother.

As he rounded the corner near his house and descended the incline, he saw pair of police cars and an ambulance with its lights flashing in front of their driveway. He walked casually on the other side of the street as if that wasn’t his house.

Two men lifted a stretcher covered with a white sheet down the stairs in the front of the house. There were two red straps that held something down firmly on the stretcher. The boy slowed down to watch as the stretcher was set down at the bottom of the steps. It was then wheeled down the driveway and loaded into the back of the ambulance.

The boy grabbed his rabbit’s foot and rubbed it for good luck. He saw a woman standing on the grass, holding his brother by the shoulders. She was the babysitter, he guessed. His brother made a gesture to wave at him, but the boy raised his index finger to his lips to tell his brother to be quiet. He didn’t want to get arrested by the police. The boy pointed down the street to indicate his direction and where to meet. His brother seemed to agree.

The boy tried to walk as if nothing was happening until he was a safe distance away, near the trivium. The boy did not know that a fatal dose of arsenic was approximately one milligram per kilogram per day, and that women most commonly commit suicide by poisoning. He started to run pas the trivium the same way he raced away from the pool with sharks chasing him.

He ran down the hill to where the sidewalk started. He was out of breath by then and so he walked. The dump had lost all interest to him. He saw only a pile of twisted junk and unimportant trash. He turned left and walked to the bridge over the stream. He inspected each nook in the bridge carefully to find an egg or other magical object. He rubbed his rabbit’s foot furiously but nothing happened. He didn’t find anything on the bridge.

There was no magic, and no luck either.

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