After Breakfast

Grandpa, Tabby and I had a good breakfast. Tabby and I cleared the table, then washed the dishes. While doing that, Tabby asked me:

“Would you like to play cribbage after this, Mark?”

I said, “Sure, that sounds like fun. How about you, Grandpa?” I asked, looking back to him in his chair at the table.

“No, thanks, kids. I’ve got something I’m working on in my workshop. You all have fun. Don’t worry about me,” he said. At that, Grandpa stood up and walked across the kitchen to the door to his workshop. “Thanks for doin’ the dishes,” he said, with a smile, then he entered his workshop and closed the door behind him.

Tabby and I had seen Grandpa working on a set of shelves for Tabby’s room, painted blue, her favorite color. Grandpa had told me they were for Tabby, and Tabby figured as much. “They’ll be neat when they’re finished, don’t you think so, Mark?”

“Yep, they will. Everything Grandpa makes is neat,” I said.

“Yeah, he’s a good ol’ Grandpa,” she said.

We sat down at the table, playing cards for a while. “You can deal,” I said.

“Okay, thanks,” Tabby said. She shuffled the cards, and dealt them out. We played a few hands, alternating the deal with each hand.

“What are you going to do, this afternoon?” Tabby asked.

“I’m going to read a book,” I said.

“That sounds like a good idea,“ Tabby said. “Maybe, I will, too!”

We played out the rest of our card game. Tabby won, as usual.

“You gonna’ go read your book now, Mark?” She said.

“Yep.” And I walked down the hall and then up the stairs to my bedroom. My dog, Old Hank, was already in my room, laying on the bed, with the sun shining on him through the window.

“Hey, Hank. Move over a bit.” I laid down on my bed, as Old Hank adjusted. I probably won’t last long, I thought to myself. I’m full. I reached out to grab the book, on the window sill, but didn’t even start reading, before I fell asleep.

Grandpa’s House

I was walking in the woods behind my grandpa’s house one fall day. I had been wondering where my little sister had wandered to. Any chance to get outside, and she was up for it. Instead of my sister, though, I came upon two boys sitting on the ground in a small dirt clearing. They were playing a dice game. They heard my steps, shuffling in the fallen leaves, and looked up. It was Ben and Albert, two young friends of ours.

“Hey, guys,” I said.

“Hey, Mark,” they both said together.

“Have you seen my sister anywhere?” I said.

The taller one, Albert, scratched his head. “I passed by her, sittin’ on a log by the pond, fishin’.”

“Sounds like my sister,” I said.

“Yep,” said Ben. “That Tabitha’s the only girl I know who goes fishin’,” he said, with a smile.

“By herself, anyway,” I said. “Thanks, y’all. Have fun.”

“Okay,” said Albert.

“Bye,” said Ben.

I hopped the fence back into my grandpa’s yard, crossed the back yard, went through the gate, through the front yard, turned left and walked down the street, then onto a dirt path that led to the pond. Albert lived near the pond, on the other side. Ben lived back on the other side of my grandpa’s house. Albert would have passed the pond on his way over to Ben’s house. As I came out of the woods, I looked across the pond, and there she was, sitting on a log, with a fishing pole in her hands.

“Hey, Mark,” she said, smiling, and she waved.

“Hey, Tabby. Grandpa’s got breakfast ready. Pancakes and bacon.”

“Okay,” she said. “I’m coming.” Then she reeled in her hook, still fit with a half a worm on it. “The fish aren’t bitin’ much, anyway.”

By that time, I walked around the pond and stood by Tabitha. I looked down at a bucket of water by her right tennis shoe and saw a couple of brim swimming in it. “Those two look good,” I said.

“Yeah, caught those a while ago. Nothin’ since.”

“Okay, c’mon. Get your fish.”

She reached down and picked up her bucket by the handle, and as I held out my hand, she reached out and grabbed it. “Thanks for coming to get me, Mark,” she said, smiling.

“I knew you wouldn’t have wanted to miss grandpa’s pancakes,” I said.

“Yep, you’re right,” she said.

When we both got back to grandpa’s house, grandpa was waiting for us at the door. “Breakfast is gettin’ cold, you two.”

“Sorry, grandpa,” we both said.

“Watcha got in the bucket, Tabby?” He said.

“Couple of brim, grandpa,” said Tabitha.

“Well, we’ll have to get them ready to cook for lunch!” He said, patting us on the backs towards the breakfast table. “After breakfast, that is!”

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 3

Jack waited for Saturday to come. It seemed like it took a long time, because Jack was so excited. He was happy that his father was willing to help him build a boat. Saturday eventually came, and, after they ate breakfast, Jack and his father headed to the store to buy supplies. Jack’s father bought wood and nails, and he also got some things that Jack had never heard of. They got all the supplies, carried it all out to the car, and headed home. When they got home, Jack’s father laid out all the supplies in their garage. Then they got to work. It was hard work, and Jack wasn’t sure why his father did some things, but he trusted his father to do it correctly. It didn’t really look like a box when it was finished, but more like a real boat. It was pointed at the front, for one thing. Jack’s father said that would make it easier to move forward, especially if it was windy. His Dad also made an oar to paddle the water and thus cause the boat to move across the water. When the boat was finished, they laid it onto Jack’s wagon and rolled it out to the lake. Jack’s father picked the small boat up and eased it into the water. Jack was so excited! A real boat!

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 2

The little boy, whose name is Jack, went back to his house and went into the kitchen to see if his mother was there. She was, and Jack asked her, “Mommy, when will Daddy be home?” His mother smiled, answering, “Your father will be home in just a few minutes. He should be on his way home from work right now. Do you need something?” “I need help to build a boat,” Jack said. “Well, I’m sure your Daddy will help you, but you might have to wait until Saturday.” “Okay,” Jack said. “I can wait.” When his father drove his car into the driveway, Jack ran out to him. “Daddy,” he said. “Can you help me build a boat?” “Sure, Jack,” he said. “We’ll do that on Saturday. How big a boat do you want?” “Just big enough for me to sit down in,” said Jack. “Okay, son. We’ll do it, I promise.” Jack was excited! He couldn’t wait for Saturday to come. “What day is today, Daddy?” he asked. “Today is Tuesday,” his Daddy said. “You’ll have to wait four days.” “Okay, thanks, Daddy,” Jack said. “We’ll go to the hardware store together on Saturday morning to buy supplies,” said his Daddy. “Sounds great, Daddy!” Jack said. Jack would count the days until Saturday.

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 1

There was once a little boy. He lived by a lake. He had learned how to swim, and he was quite good at it. One day, during summer vacation, he was out by the lake, watching the fish swim around in the water, and the frogs jumping and croaking, and the minnows scattering each time he touched the water with the end of a stick. He thought to himself that it would be great fun to have a boat. He considered for a while what he might need to make one. He thought of wood, and a hammer and nails. He knew that would make a nice box, but he wasn’t sure if it would float. He was afraid it might sink to the bottom. He decided he would ask his father if he would help him build a boat. He knew his father had worked on a boat when he was younger, and the boy hoped he would know some of the tricks to make it float.

Untitled Story: Ch. 3

We rode down the road a while, and my mind started to wander. I thought about what I did yesterday, what I had for breakfast that morning, what I might do tomorrow. As I daydreamed, a man stepped out into the road about 100 feet in front of us. He had a bag in one hand and a pistol in the other, pointed at Chad.

Chad hit the breaks and stopped the SUV in front of the man. It looked like he had just come out of the bank, so I figured it made sense to assume he had just robbed it. Chad and I both put our hands in the air to show that we were at his mercy. He motioned and told us to get out of the SUV.

When I opened my door, Millie jumped into my lap from the back seat, then jumped down out of the SUV. She looked at the man with the gun and began barking at him. The man seemed confused as to what to do. He took a few steps towards Chad, who by this time was standing outside the SUV. When the robber did that, Millie took off and jumped at him.

Millie got ahold of his pant leg and was pulling him away from Chad. Just then I heard a gun shot, and Millie stopped pulling on the robber’s pant leg. As she backed off, the robber dropped his gun and fell forward onto the ground. A man in a suit was standing right outside the front door of the bank, holding another pistol, pointed at the robber.

Apparently, Millie had slowed the robber down and distracted him long enough for the bank manager to grab his gun and head outside after the robber. It was an easy shot across the road and the robber standing still with Millie holding him made for a good target. The bank manager lowered his gun and smiled at Millie.

“Your dog’s a hero, sir. Couldn’t have done it without her. Thank you young men for your help. That man robbed three banks near here just this week, and shot and killed two innocent people. It’s a big relief to know he’s finished.”

“I’m just glad he didn’t try to shoot Millie,” said Chad. “I don’t know what I’d do without her. “She sure was brave,” I said. “No telling what would have happened to us if she hadn’t intervened.” Millie walked over to Chad and stood on her hind legs. She reached her front paws up to Chad’s shoulders and licked him in the face. “Good dog,” said Chad. “Very good dog.”

Untitled Story: Ch. 2

We drove through the town and I saw many small-town-like things, giving me a comfortable small-town-like feeling. I looked out the window and saw many people doing just the sort of thing one would expect people in a small town to be doing. It was all very comforting and I felt safe and calm.

Chad stopped the SUV at a gas station, where he said he was going to get some gas. I stepped out of the car and told Chad I’d be right back. I needed to use the toilet, but when I entered the store, I didn’t see a sign for a restroom. I asked the cashier if she had a restroom. She said it was on the outside of the building in the back.

She handed me a red block of wood that said “Men” in black print. It had a hole drilled through one end and a thin chain passed through it. The chain had a key on it. I walked out the door and looked at Chad, who was still pumping gas. I held up the red block of wood with the key dangling from it and Chad saw me and nodded his head.

I went towards the back of the building, noticing, as I glimpsed the darkening sky, that it was dusk. I prayed the bathroom had a working light. No telling how clean it would be or what it could be infested with. These outside-type restrooms weren’t usually the best, in my experience.

I unlocked the door and pushed the door open. I reached in and felt the wall for a light switch. I found it and flipped the switch, feeling a sense of relief when the light bulb, over the mirror above the sink, came on. I looked down at the toilet to see a daddy long legs crawling across a spider web inside the toilet seat.

I decided I would just stand up and pee, holding the rest for later. I finished, washed my hands and dried them off with a paper towel from the holder on the wall next to the mirror. I locked the door, returned the key to the cashier with a simple “Thank you,” and headed back to Chad’s SUV.

Chad had the motor running and was busy tuning in to some music on the radio. I got in, and he said, “That was quick.” I nodded and replied, “Not the cleanest place. I’ll wait til we get to your place to sit down on the toilet.” “Okay,” was all he said, and he pulled out of the parking lot and back onto the road.

Untitled Story: Ch. 1

I was going somewhere, knowing where I was going, but not satisfied. I was looking forward to going. I had waited a long time to be going and I had known for a long time where I would be going.

In the process of going, I boarded a train. It was a quiet train, and there wasn’t much to do but look out the window at, first, the city, then, the country, going by, or, rather that which the train was going by. I was sitting in a seat, thinking about nothing. I thought about nothing for a long time.

After another long time had passed, we arrived at a train station. At first I got excited because I thought maybe it could be time to get off. I was soon disappointed as the conductor called out the name of a city which was not where I was going. It looked like an interesting little town, but not interesting enough to make me get off the train before I got to where I was going.

After all, there would be someone waiting to meet me when I got to where I was going. It wouldn’t be considerate to get off early and not be there to get off the train when it got to where I was supposed to be going. The person who would be there to meet me would not be very pleased to see that I was not on the train anymore.

So, I stayed on the train for a while longer. In fact, it was a long while. The train stopped five times before it arrived at the station where I was supposed to get off. I said goodbye to the family that I was sitting with on the train and wished them good luck in their endeavors. They did the same towards me, and I smiled and waved to them before stepping down out of the train.

As I walked towards the station, my friend came walking towards me. He smiled and waved and I smiled and waved back at him. He offered to take my bag, but I told him thank you but I would carry it. We walked through the station and out the front door to the parking lot. My friend pointed to a large, blue SUV and said that was his vehicle.

My friend, whose name is Chad, took my bag and put it in the back of the SUV. When he opened the cargo door, a large, handsome dog stuck his head up from the back seat and licked Chad’s hand. “Hello, Millie,” Chad said, and he patted the dog on the head. Then he took a step back and closed the door. We both got into the front seats and headed on our way down the road towards the town where Chad and Millie live.

Changes of Scenery

I was walking down an alley, and when I got to the end of the alley, I jumped up and over the wall. When I landed on my feet on the other side I realized I had entered a lush garden with grass, flowers, bushes and trees. The pathway was made of brick, and there were pools and fountains here and there among the vegetation.

I walked around a little bit, and, looking down into one of the pools, I noticed it was quite deep. I stepped up onto the brick border around the pool, then leaped in, feet first. As I suspected, I sunk down pretty far. I swam around a bit, then came up for a breath. When I did, I was quite surprised.

The beautiful garden was gone. In its place was a factory, with giant machines all around. There were also huge vats sunk into the concrete floor. The vats were made of a thick glass, and I could see a short way into each vat from inside one of the vats, which is where I was. I propped myself up on the side of the vat I was in, and lifted myself out of the vat.

A Little Bit of Time

Lacking love, the lonely soldier called out to the trees, “Is there an answer?” He scratched his head. His name was Jack. Jack was standing outside his house, in the yard. He walked over to the well and took off the cover. He looked down into the well and shouted, “Well? Is there an answer?” He bent over and rubbed his knee. It was humid today. Earlier in the day, it had rained. It felt like it might rain some more before the day was over.

Jack walked over to his car and reached into his pants pocket for his keys. He pressed the remote button to unlock the door. He pulled the door open and stooped down to get into the driver’s seat. He put the car key into the ignition and revved the motor a little bit. He reached up to the power switch for the radio and turned it on.

Jack had put down his dog, Ralph, just the other day. He missed Ralph. Ever since then, Jack had been in a fog. He guessed he was probably depressed. Jack turned off the radio and switched the car off. He got out of the car and walked towards the house. He opened the back door and walked through the laundry room and into the kitchen.

Jack was feeling sort of hungry, so he opened the refrigerator and looked around. There wasn’t much in there that was ready to eat. He closed the fridge and walked over to the cupboard. He opened the door and saw a bag of tortilla chips. He was in the mood for something salty, so he took the bag and sat down at the kitchen table.

He ate a few chips, and then decided he’d take a nap. He walked into his bedroom and turned down the sheet and blanket. He took off his shirt, then his shoes and socks, then his pants. He felt a little bit of a chill, then got into bed. It had been a rough week. Jack had lost Ralph, then had a busy week at work. He was ready for a break.