Scene 15

Clearly in tune with the rhythms of the Universe, Lonnie’s prediction of Jimmy’s mom’s arrival was perfectly timed.

“Oh, thank goodness,” Bernie said at the sound of the rap on the screen door.

Lonnie gave him a sharp kick in the ankle. She directed his attention to Jimmy who was standing inches away from him.

“...thank goodness thhhhaat the screen door still works after all the excitement?” He shrugged his shoulders.

“Good save, Dad,” Melody said from the hallway.

Lonnie, grimacing, opened the front door. What she found there was a large fruit basket with legs. “Erm, Hello?”

“Sorry if I’m late,” came the voice of her cousin Joanie from somewhere behind the cellophane barrier.

“Oh, my,” Lonnie said. “Let me take that off your hands.” With a minor struggle and

Bernie’s help, they managed finagle the awkward basket through the door and onto the dining room table. “You shouldn’t have,” Lonnie said, and gave her a hug.

“Oh, it’s no trouble,” she said. Joanie still looked somewhat frazzled, even with Jimmy out of her hair for a night. “I really appreciate you watching Jimmy. I hope he wasn't too much of a handful,”

“Oh, no trouble at all,” Lonnie told her.

Melody's eyes narrowed at the lie. Sparing the woman's feelings was one thing, she thought. Making it seem, however, that they’d all be happy babysitting in the future was absolutely unforgivable.

“How's Rock?”

Joanie looked distant for a moment. “He's doing okay, actually,” she said. “Although...”

Bernie and Melody chose this moment to start wandering away from the conversion. Bernie began poke at the fruit and stare at it hungrily.

Joanie continued on in the background. “...He seems to think his surviving the fall was some sort of a miracle.”

Bernie spun the basket around, and pointed at the bag of pistachios and smiled at his daughter. He rubbed his belly and stuck out his tongue as though a hungry bear.

Melody giggled at this.

“Yes, I'm afraid he's turned suddenly rather religious on me.” She began to laugh nervously.

Bernie then picked up a card which had apparently fallen down the side of the basket. He pulled it out and showed an expression to Melody which seemed to say “Uh oh, what's this?”

He read the card to himself and frowned dramatically. Shrugging his shoulders he held up the card for his daughter to read. It said, “Get well soon, Rock”.

Bernie put his hand to his mouth and shook his head.

Melody began to giggle ever harder.

“Well, goodbye, you two,” Joanie shouted over to Bernie and Melody. “Thanks again.”

With stunned and guilty expressions, they waved back.

“Anytime,” Bernie said. “And thanks for passing along the basket.”

Once Joanie and Jimmy left, the house felt like a completely different place. Quieter, cleaner...Like the bad spirits had been exorcised.

“ANYTIME?!” Melody said to her father in a chastising tone.

“She caught me at a difficult moment,” he said. “Besides I'm sure with a kid like Jimmy, she knows that when someone says 'Anytime', it's just said to be nice.”

“That logic only stands until she's desperate,” Melody informed him. “Then under the veil of ignorance she'll pull out the Anytime card, and then we'll be stuck.”

“Oh for the love of...” Lonnie shook her head and sat down, placing her hands over her eyes. “He’s just an energetic little boy. It’s not like you even had to change any diapers...or really do anything other than keep him from running out into traffic.”

Bernie ignored his wife’s comments.

“Well, if it comes up again,” he said, smiling, “we can always move to Europe.”

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Hound from Hell

by BMB Johnson

Scene 15

Please support our efforts

Please support our efforts

Support the author -- buy him a coffee to keep him awake and writing

Read Bark, the first of the Bill Swagger stories, free on our site.

Tales of Fastlegreive

Our new ongoing series of stories in the Fastlegrieve realm.

Read the "Tales of Fastlegrieve" for free on our site.