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Hi! My name is Connie. I love to write short stories, poems, novel drafts, blurbs, pretty much anything (even research papers). I've written my first novel titled "Me & Eryn Carlo" and editing is in the works! While the book is being groomed and tweaked I hope you enjoy the short stories I've posted here on My Writer's Block. Some are fun - some are quirky - some are just plain strange. Constructive criticism is highly valued. Thanks for stopping by. Your views mean so much to me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Two Troubles (A Short Story)

So I finally finished this short story! :) I named it "Two Troubles" b/c the story revolves around two kids...2 troublesome kids :).


I wanted to submit this one for the short story contest coming up but its too long...1800 words too many. The maximum for the contest is 3500 words and this story has 5300-ish.


Anywho I hope you enjoy the crazy story! :D

TWO TROUBLES (3/13/11)



“Ewww! Eggs and bacon again?!” I threw my fork down and refused to eat this plain breakfast one more time. It was the same breakfast every weekend.
Now I know how it must look. I look as if I am unappreciative of my mother’s efforts in making us breakfast in the morning, especially on her day off. Actually she makes breakfast for us every morning. But really – how hard is it to do something better. Like banana pancakes and chocolate chip French toast. Hellooo.
“You know what other kids get to eat for breakfast?” I paused for effect…nothing. I continued, goading my mother, “They get fancy waffles with strawberries, whip cream, and as much syrup as they want on top. And…and big ol’ pieces of French toast with sugar powder too!”
My mother, not feeding my tantrum, responded, “Well you’re not ‘other kids’ and when you grow up you can eat whatever you want to okay honey?” She smiled but I could tell she was just trying to keep the peace.
“That’s right because all of you won’t be there to stop me.”
My younger brother, Sam, chimed in with a mouth full of food, “I’ll be right there with you, sis!”
My dad and older brother, Jack, snorted. I thought I heard Jack mumble “good riddance” but wasn’t exactly sure. Not wanting to argue with Jack (that was never a good idea) I concentrated on devouring my lukewarm breakfast. It was nearly cold now, its warmth released during my fit of temper.
Fine, I thought, not much longer till I am out on my own and I can have fun all the time and eat what I want to whenever I want. I’ll wear what I want and wear as much make-up as I please too!
Mom and I used to get along great – the whole family did – until we moved here to South Florida – Boca Raton to be exact. That’s when I realized all of the cool and popular things we were lacking! You should see how many latest and advanced gadgets the kids have around here. And the clothes? Only the trendiest, most popular, in-style clothes available! They even get allowances without having to do chores! Heck, some of my friends’ parents let them pick out cars for when they get their driving permits – cars that aren’t even out on the market yet! It just wasn’t fair that kids in Boca got everything they wanted and I didn’t.
My parents have been working more than normal. Something about the economy hurting – all I get out of that is the hint that we won’t be getting as many Christmas presents this year. I have to have that new Burberry backpack!
Needless to say, my parents have frustrated me more and more every day. I mean what is the point of them working so hard all week long if they can’t give their kids what they want? Am I right? Plus, they don’t let me wear makeup.  Every other girl at school does. And besides – I’m grown up – I’m 14. Practically an adult.
I demolished everything on my plate and hurriedly dropped it in the sink. I had plans to make! I heard my dad yelling for me to rinse my dish but I pretended not to hear him. What did parents know anyways? All they did was tell us what not to do. Like TVs, for instance, parents say “Don’t sit too close to the TV or you’ll go cross-eyed.” Yeah riiiiight. Sure, we believe you.
I grabbed my purple notebook and pen and my favorite plaid (Burberry knockoff) blanket. Scurrying out to our backyard I almost ran Sam over.
“Hey where you going, Emmie?”
“I have plans to make for when I move outta here. I wanna write down all the fun things I’m going to do!”
“When you move out? But you’re only 14, Emmie.”
“Ugh now you’re starting to sound like Mom and Dad. You coming with me or not?”
“Ok.” Sam followed me to the fresh, green lawn.
Once Sam and I settled on the blanket I told him that we need to make a list of all the fun things we will do when our family isn’t around to stop us from enjoying every form of amusement. The weather was perfect today. The air was warm and refreshing which made me even more excited about these future plans for everlasting leisure!
Here is a list of what we came up with that would fit perfectly in our dream world:
1.    Rock climbing & Rappelling
2.    Monster bounce house
3.    Carnival games & Arcades
4.    Bumper cars
5.    Advanced high tech computer access
6.    Movie theaters with endless popcorn, candy, and soda
7.    Shopping
8.    Remote control-less video games like the Xbox Kinect
9.    3D TVs
10.  Dirt bikes & dune buggies
11.  All water sports! Jet skis! Tubing! Swimming! Snorkeling!
12.  Zoos
13.  Rollercoasters
14.  Endless supply of food and desserts
15.  Winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, etc).
Ah I love the feeling of progress. The day flew by while we created our fantasy of permanent celebration. Since it was Saturday, it was movie night and that meant cheeseburgers, french-fries, milkshakes and popcorn.  Mom and Dad picked the movie this time: The Spy Next Door. Family movie. Great. They were always so corny.
Ok so the movie wasn’t too terrible–I’ll admit it I liked the idea and it was surprisingly funny. See – families need adventure and excitement to keep them going strong. When the movie was over it was time for bed. I could only imagine what boring things lay in store for tomorrow.
I climbed into my comfortable bed when Mom and Dad came in to say goodnight. Mom sat on the bed next to me. “Did you enjoy the movie honey?”
“Yeah it was tolerable.” I said.
“I thought it was pretty comical.” my mom tried. “Maybe we can do something fun tomorrow – all of us together.” She looked at my Dad.
“Let’s talk over breakfast in the morning. I think we’re all overdue for a family outing.”
“Riiiight – like it’ll actually happen.” I answered cynically while folding my arms.
“Well…we’ll see tomorrow. Goodnight lovebug.” My Dad and Mom kissed me goodnight and shut the door.
I got out of bed and walked to the window. I heard a story once that if you wish upon a star at a time in which all the numbers were the same – that the wish was 100% sure to come true. Well lucky for me it was October 10th, 2010 and it was soon to be 10:10pm!!! This was my chance to make my dreams come true! Quick Emmie – think – what exactly will I wish for. Ha! I know! The thoughts from the morning came rushing back. The list Sam and I created for our future fun world.
“I wish that I lived in a world where there was nothing but fun! I wish for Sam to be with me but no parents!”
The clock switched over to 10:11pm. Hopefully I made it on time. I sighed. Pointless, I thought. Wishing on stars. What am I – 6 years old?
I silently snuck over to Sam’s room and told him about the wish.
“That would be awesome, Emmie. But when you tell someone your wish doesn’t it uh…make it not happen?”
“Hmm I don’t know.” I said, “It’s not like it would happen anyways.”
I went to bed and I’m pretty sure Sam was snoring by time I left his room. I giggled. Sam always snored. He was the deepest sleeper in the world. He’d probably sleep through an explosion. Me, on the other hand, I am the total opposite - the lightest sleeper in the world. But tonight I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the lavender scented feather pillow.
Sometime in the middle of the night I heard a peculiar noise. Like a wind blowing noise – it happened in uneven intervals and caused sporadic light flashes outside my window. Frightened, I slipped out of my safe bed and peeked around the edge of the window curtain.
Swoooosh.
Silence.
Swooooooooosh.
Silence.
Fire! It was a controlled fire but how…what….
I opened the curtain all the way, risking being seen, and gasped.
Two hot air balloons. In my front yard.
Woah – gotta limit the popcorn and soda before bedtime, Emmie. I shook my head and shut my eyes hard willing for the outside scene to go back to a grassy front lawn with a driveway, vehicle, and trash can by the manatee shaped mail box.
No such luck. The odd landscape still lay before my eyes. Well this was certainly a wacky dream. I turned around and Sam was at my doorway, “Emmie! Did you see what’s outside?!” he ran over to me. “What’s going on?” he asked me.
“Who knows dude. There’s only one way to find out. Let’s go check it out.”
“Huh?? You want to go out there? Maybe we should wake up Mom and Dad. Or Jack. Jack would scare them off. He’s mean!”
“Come on, Sam. We’ll go together. What’s the worst that can happen? This is just a dream!” I laughed nervously and ran outside to the hot air balloons. Both were unmanned. There was no one around to see this bizarre scene. Nobody heard these balloons?
Sam followed behind me cautious but intrigued. Looking at each other we knew we’d be accepting this strange and captivating journey. I ran to the pink balloon and hopped inside. Sam went to the blue one and did the same. We were both laughing. What a story this would be in the morning! Our hot air balloons rose slowly into the air, drifting higher and higher, ascending into the dark sky.
As the miles above land increased, the once open and airy hot air balloon began to alter…like a transformer. I kid you not! Within seconds it was completely enclosed. The air had even changed. I started to feel light-headed. Oh No! We’re being abducted by aliens! Just then a window was uncovered and all that was visible was a velvety black blanket of stars. The gravity inside had rapidly disappeared so I floated carelessly around the spacious, transformed balloon. I gazed out the petite window to the deep, dark space and noticed stars and planets and….at least twenty other balloons! Each with a child’s face peering out into the unknown. Their expressions ranged from scared to exhilarated to stunned to downright panic.
There were only two colors of balloons. Pink and blue. That would make sense – pink for girls, blue for boys. But that was awful traditional. My favorite color is definitely not pink.  Sam’s balloon was immediately across from me – our windows facing each other. He was all smiles! At 11 he was much more easily amused than I was.
Abruptly, all of the balloons began to pick up speed. I floated with the same urgency as before….which was none. My heart was beating quickly and insistently. The balloon moved faster….and faster. It gained speed and seemed to become nearly uncontrollable. I looked out the window. It was as if space had roads. But instead of pavement and cars there were road lanes made with star clusters and small, compact constellations! These bright, sparkling stars gave off so much light and energy that you couldn’t help but feel ecstatic. The star roads were showing us the way. Showing us the way to where?! The spacecraft balloons zipped along the star highway and the faster we went the more the others started to blur in my vision. I attempted to keep Sam’s balloon in sight but I ended up losing him.
Then I noticed a wall of stars – larger stars, green, as if they signaled “go ahead and pass.” The wall frightened me. We got closer and closer. I was positive that we’d end up combusting in the flames of the stars. I crouched into the fetal position, held my breath, and braced for impact.
After staying like that for a couple minutes I opened one eye waiting to see if I was doomed and floating in space without the balloon but no….all balloons passed safely through the crevices of the star wall effortlessly. Next thing I knew stars were surrounding my balloon and all the others too….my balloon tipped upside down, then to the right, then to the left then forward, faster, faster, faster, down like an elevator dropping, sometimes shaking and sometimes smooth riding. I could no longer see out my window for the stars were packed tightly, covering my view. I had no choice but to float in the balloon and wait for what was next.  Suddenly we came to a smooth, rolling stop. The lights around my canvas balloon diminished. A door magically appeared and opened for my exit. I was frightened and considered staying in the balloon but my inquisitive nature got the best of me.
A smiling teenage girl held her hand out to help me float out. Awkward.
“Here” she said “put these on” she handed me some very fashionable purple metal boots. I slipped them on. Perfect fit.
“I love purple.” I said smiling. Then I remembered to ask the important questions “who are you? Where am I?”
“I am Zoey, a counselor here at F.U.N!”
Fun?” I asked with my most skeptical look.
Zoey chuckled “Yes. F – U – N. Fantastic Universal Neuro-galactic-academy.”
“Wouldn’t that be F-U-N-G-A – funga?”
“No no – here we abbreviate it as F.U.N. because fun is the number one rule here.  And besides, Neuro-Galactic-Academy is all one word, silly. Anywho, no parents here my friend, just kids that are tired of listening to rules rules rules. Here at F.U.N. you can do whatever you want, play, scream, eat anything, just be a kid. No responsibilities. But make sure you play nicely with the others. By the way those boots will help you keep your feet on the ground until your body adjusts to the gravity in our little dome world here.” Zoey continued to smile her big, welcoming, cheesy smile.
“Okay. This is so weird. Is this a dream? Where’s my brother Sam?”
“Right this way. Sam is already partaking in all the fun!”
After walking a short distance and rounding a corner, I spotted my little brother….rock climbing? In space. Ok this was undeniably a dream. I stopped to take in my surroundings. The dome surrounded us, holding us in from the dangers of the space environment but also allowing us to admire its beauty. The size of the dome was tremendous! There was a few rollercoasters, carnival games, a huge food court, recreational areas....I stopped. Our list. Everything that Sam and I wrote on that list is here! And more!
“Step right up children! Enjoy the amusement park. Anything & everything you’ve ever wanted to do is here for you to enjoy. Noooo parents allowed! Hahaha…” the voice that interrupted my thoughts was coming over an intercom from somewhere. Trying to take this all in I continued to gaze around this new environment with my jaw dropped.
Balloons continued landing onto a grip and rolling up to the dock…similar to a rollercoaster ride rolling slowly back to drop off its elated passengers and obtain eager new ones.
            Once kids arrived their looks of uncertainty disappeared almost immediately. Like they instantly forgot their mode of transportation to this foreign world. Were all of these children like me? Disgruntled young kids that weren’t happy at home? What now? No more Mom and Dad and siblings? No more school busses? No more eggs and bacon?
            Zoey had continued greeting the new kids that arrived. I went over and snatched Sam. “Can you come with me? I want to go inside but not by myself.”
            He was beaming with excitement. “Where are we?! This place is awesome, Emmie!”
            Together we walked to the largest building there – it looked like a hotel, an overbearing hotel at that. Upon entering the large double doors we both gasped. Stairs upon stairs upon stairs that coiled around as they rose to the ceiling of the hotel – at least 15 floors up! Each floor was a different color: red, blue, green, orange, pink, white, black, etc. Different wacky numbers graced the room doors (wacky meaning they were tilted, angled, patterned, or altered in some creative manner).
            Finally we managed to walk to what appeared to be the elevators but they weren’t ordinary elevators. You walked into the designated elevator and stood on a lit up circle – no doors closed. No movement. You simply….DISAPPEARED!
            I started hyperventilating. “Those kids just disappeared Sam! We need to get out of here.”
            “Relax Emmie – it’s a transporter – it will beam you right to your room! How awesome is that?!”
            “You say awesome a lot….a transporter? Really – like in Star Trek?”
            “Uh yeah. Like in Star Trek….awesome right?”
            Just then I felt a soothing, feel good wave of energy wash over me. I started laughing. Sam looked at me and began laughing too. What was I worried about anyways? It was time to have some fun for once. We’d worry about getting home later this evening.
            First we hit the rock climbing wall and Sam beat me to the top every time! Then we did everything on our list! We ate and ate and ate. We played and had the best time all day long. Everyone was friends and fun was everyone’s goal here in F.U.N.  I was so content I felt like I was glowing.
            Hours went by. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. We didn’t find that we needed as much sleep. A cat nap here and there sufficed. There was just so much to do! Who needed sleep?!  Home gradually left my mind and didn’t concern me any longer. The counselors always seemed to find new things for us to enjoy. The food seemed to taste better and better every day. French toast with powder sugar – my favorite!! I could enjoy anything I wanted any time of day.
            One day, while napping at a picnic table near the Tropical Parrot outdoor cafĂ©, I had a boring, yet bizarre, dream.  A man, woman, three kids….popcorn….a corny movie. What was that all about? Totally random.
            I walked around F.U.N. It’s so easy to lose track of time here. Every kid was constantly going and going – like a posse of Energizer bunnies. It was like an all-inclusive amusement park. A free all-inclusive amusement park.
            Speaking of losing track of time, I had this odd nagging feeling. I couldn’t put a finger on it but when I thought about time I felt it gnaw on my senses. I jerked my mind back to the present.  Ah the fun. No pressure. No school. No homework. No fighting No…….parents. Parents! Mom…Dad! My older brother Jack! It hit me like lightning zapping a tree, lost, in the middle of nowhere! A tree that mistakenly felt it was better off far from the forest world it naturally belonged to.
 I began asking around for the date and time; even a calendar would have jogged my memory. No one had the date or time! They acted like it was insane to ask for such a thing – some had never even heard of calendars. Is that even possible? Seriously, there are some things you just don’t admit. I started to get frustrated, an emotion I hadn’t experienced in what felt like days or a week. I usually felt light and easy going here. Never frustrated. But I was determined to find that calendar.
Emmie ran inside and decided she would attempt to sneak into the Employees only room. It was always guarded by the teenagers that worked this amusement park. She devised a plan to distract them. In seconds, she disheveled her clothing and rubbed dirt on her face. Running inside in a frantic mode she screamed, “Quick! Everyone! Zoey needs your help calming a big fight! Over by the rock climbing walls! Hurry!”
They immediately followed with shocked looks on their faces. They had obviously never heard of a fight occurring there. They were frantic!
Once the so-called employees were out of her way she ran through the door and immediately zoned in on a calendar.
What had seemed like a week was actually two months. Two whole months?! Emmie began to panic. She couldn’t imagine what her parents and Jack must be going through looking for her and Sam.
One of the employees found her. “Hey what are you doing in here?”
“I want to go home!”
The teenage boy chuckled. “You can’t go home. Why don’t you go back outside and have some fun. And why would you want to go home anyways? You thought it was boring before, didn’t you?” His tone of voice turned a little harsh at the end of his last question.
Emmie ran out and started asking individual kids how you get out of there. How do I get home? She would ask anxiously.
Just when she thought it was impossible – that she couldn’t go home – she heard a whisper “Hey. You. You want to go home? I know how.”
Emmie turned around and saw a skinny boy of about 8. She ran up to him and sat next to him at a picnic table in a far corner. She recognized him. He was always alone and didn’t interact much with other kids. “You know how? How do you know?” She began interrogating him.
Nervously he began, “I just know. You have to find the Prophet.”
“The Prophet?” She gazed at him skeptically. “If you know about this why don’t you leave?”
“Because…” He started to twitch nervously.
Emmie felt bad for the little boy. He was so frail. “What is your name?” She asked gently.
“Bernard.”
“Hi Bernard. I’m Emmie. Its nice to meet you.”
“Hi.”
“So why don’t you want to go home?”
“Because my parents beat me. There’s no reason for me to be there.” Bernard’s eyes filled with tears. “They hate me.”
“I’m so sorry. “
“It doesn’t matter now. I’m here and free from them. Ok…so you have to find the Prophet.”
“How do I know where they are?”
“You have to go to a special room. It has a blue door and an upside down number 2. Once you see her, the Prophet, she will tell you how to leave.”
They both stood and Emmie gave Bernard a huge hug. “Thank you Bernard. Thank you.”
“You must have a wonderful family to go home to.” He said timidly.
“I do. We do. My brother Sam and I.” She paused in thought. “Would you like to come with us?”
He smiled at that. “You are so nice. But no. I’m staying here. This is my home now.”
“Good luck Bernard.”
They hugged again and Emmie ran off in search of Sam.
She found him playing volleyball with a group of kids. “Sam I need you!” She grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the game. “We need to get home. Come on!”
“Home?” He said the word as if it were a foreign concept. For her it was almost the same way; home was an idea that was becoming more and more distant in her mind. But reality was slowly weaving its way back in.
“Follow me. We have to find the Prophet!” She dragged him with her despite his protests. They found the room. It was a dirty blue door just like Bernard had said. The number two was upside down and rusted. The room was in a dark corner of the first floor of the hotel.
Frightened but motivated Emmie pushed open the door. There was a woman there. She sat in the middle of the room staring at a small tv with static.
On the right side of the room was a big projector screen and on the left there were two large bathtub sized bins.
The Prophet finally looked up and spoke lightly. “Can I help you?”
“We want to go home.” Emmie was bold and no longer afraid.
“Why? You are in space. You are in the world of fun you and your brother both dreamed of. You hated your life. Remember?” The Prophet chided and then continued with sarcasm. “Here you have all of the good food you want. All of the games and rides and just fun! So much fun!
“What? How do I get home? I want to go home! I miss my parents and Jack. I want to see them again.”  She started crying. Sam just watched his sister fall to pieces.
“I don’t want to go home Emmie.” Sam said backing away slowly.
“Do you truly mean that Emmie.” The Prophet asked her.
“Yes! Yes I mean it. I’m sorry I acted the way I did. I didn’t ever believe that home could be better and that it actually WAS better. Sam please! You have to come with me! I promise home will be better when we get back. I promise!”
The Prophet handed them each a pack. This was getting weirder and weirder…
We opened our packages. Canvas, blow-up balloons? Like the ones we arrived in except they didn’t look as if they would withstand space travel.
Little did they know – it would only get more peculiar.
“Listen to me carefully.” The Prophet stood. Her long, raven black hair touched the ground. “If you want to go home you have to hold your balloon and sit in the container. The container will fill with water up to your shoulders…Th…”
“What?! That’s crazy.” Emmie interrupted.
“Do you want to go home my dear?” The Prophet persisted.
“Yes. I do.”
“Let the water fill to your shoulders and watch the projector screen. Think of what is waiting for you at home. Your mother. Your father. Your brother. Everything you hold dear.”
 The screen began displaying a slideshow of pictures. Familiar pictures. Pictures of their family. Family trips. Pictures of Emmie and her friends. Sam and his friends.”
Emmie climbed into the bathtub and began focusing on home. Home sweet home.
Sam hesitated. Emmie was ready to go.  She could feel something changing…she felt different. But Sam was having a hard time. She begged him. “Focus Sam! Concentrate! Come home!”
He was turning his head toward the direction of fun and games and free elation. Emmie felt the canvas hot air balloon start to envelop her. She was moving away from the Prophet, away from that bizarre room.  But she could still see Sam.
“Sam please! Come home with me. Remember mom & dad and Jack! They miss us! Things were perfect – we just didn’t see it. I love you!”
And then she was gone…vanished…disappeared.

Seconds later Emmie awoke disoriented.
It was light out. Morning?
She felt familiarity. Recognizable sheets, pajamas, smells… Only seconds ago she was wearing a glamorous outfit in the dream world.  Emmie lay on something soft and plush…
“Home! I’m home! My bed! Oh my bed!” She rolled around with excitement like a two year old!
Then she stopped. Sam! Oh please tell me Sam made it. Please please! Emmie jumped out of her bed, ran out of her room, down the hallway, down the stairs. Each heartbeat grew louder in her chest. Her breath was ragged and scared. Tears threatened her eyes. Emmie was terrified she had lost and abandoned her beloved little brother.
“Sam!” She practically knocked down the door to the basement.
The bed was empty! Nooo. Nooo. Nooo. She dropped to her knees and sobbed uncontrollably. He was gone. Left behind. Emmie dragged her feet as she walked back out of the basement and up the stairs.

Too many thoughts raced through her mind. What was I going to do? How would this be explained? Who would ever believe me? She continued to walk, head down.
“Emmie!”
“Sam!” She screamed. He was standing in the hallway that led to Emmie’s room. They ran to each other and hugged. “I thought you didn’t make it back!  I ran to your room right after I woke up in my bed!”
“Oh – you woke up in your bed?” He asked with a confused tone.
“Yes…where did you wake up?”
“Er…I don’t want to talk about it”
Emmie laughed. She was so happy. “You can tell me later Sam – I love you. I don’t want that to ever happen again!”
“I second that. I love you too. I think everyone’s up already. Downstairs.”
“Let’s go. We have a lot of apologizing to do.”
Sam and Emmie walked downstairs to the kitchen. Their mom, dad and brother were about to have breakfast. Jack was getting ready to head to work soon, Mom was cooking, and Dad was reading the paper. Was that the Sunday paper?
Brother and sister stood at the doorway taking in the whole picture. The panorama they’ve been taking for granted all this time. Their family. A family that always cared for them but they were too stubborn to ever notice. They had been trapped in their own little world…
It was all clear to Emmie. Our own little world had become true.
A lesson learned. Be careful what you wish for.
“Good morning” Emmie said with a weak voice.
They all mumbled good morning. Emmie and Sam could tell that they weren’t in the mood to deal with their stubbornness and attitude that early.
Sam started “We have a lot of apologizing to do.”
Three shocked faces turned toward us. The newspaper in their dad’s hands fell into pancakes and syrup.
“Is this a joke?” Jack snorted “I have to get to work.”
“What day is it?” Emmie asked.
“Sunday.” Jack replied curtly.
“Wait Jack, please. Sam and I want to apologize for how we’ve acted. We never realized how terrible we’ve acted toward you guys. “
“What made you finally realize it?” Their father questioned.
“Let’s just say Sam and I had a rude awakening. It was like a….um…dream we both had. About the life we wanted so badly. But it wasn’t as great as we thought it’d be. It’s not great without family.”
My mom stood up without a word and hugged us both.
“I say apology accepted.” She smiled. “I love you both so much.”  Their mother gave them both kisses and they hugged her tightly in return. “Now”, she said “you can start redeeming yourselves!” She laughed.
“I’ll get the dishes!” I yelled.
“I’ll get the trash!” Sam volunteered.
“Uh uh. After you eat some breakfast first you two.” Their mother rebuked.
Their father and brother stood up and walked over to stand in front of them. Emmie and Sam each took two steps back. They were afraid their forgiveness wouldn’t come so easily as their mom’s.
They looked at each other.
After a moment’s weighing silence, Jack said, “Good to have you two back. Let’s hang out when I get back from work.” He smiled.
Emmie and Sam grinned in return simultaneously.
“I have a better idea.” Said their dad. “How about another movie night. Popcorn. A great flick. As a family.”
“Sounds great dad! What’s the movie choice?” Sam was eager. “How about ‘Over the Top’?”
They all laughed. They had seen that movie one too many times for Sam.
“How about… hmmm.” Their dad rubbed his chin and contemplated. “I know!” He was thrilled. “How about that new movie that just came out on DVD? It looks really good! What’s it called…oh that’s right. ‘Space Kids in Mars!’ – that sounds like a good family movie!”
Sam and Emmie looked at each other quickly and screamed in chorus. “Nooooooooooooooooooo!” and then started laughing so hard they had to lay on the floor and let the giggles roll them around.
Their lives were excellent and they had never known it. Until now. Now that they see it clearly they planned to enjoy ever moment of it…all together.