Calmly, I remember the first
time I used it. I was seven and it was a cold, wet, winter, filled with
snow. Back then I wanted to go to my grandfather’s house. It was over
there in Miami where it is always warm and sunny. I had run away from
home, and I was more than happy to see my grandparents in Miami. However,
my dad wasn’t thrilled to have to fly down there to get me. He told me I
could never run away from home again. But oh boy…. do I think about it
all the time. Home sucks.
Now five years on, I am walking to school with the rest of my gang. There is a cold driving rain. Sadly, my street is turning into a river. We are all big boys now. In fact, all of us are twelve years old and this is our last year in elementary school. One more year and there will be no more recess. Yeah, I’m going to have to ride the bus as well. That would suck too!
“Hey, did you guys know that there is a haunted house in the middle of the forest?”, our leader asks.
While pretending to be bored, “Oh really?” I replied. Shrugging my shoulders I ask him, “Yeah?” following with a slight head nod.
“Yeah, I hear it has ghosts and it is very, very creepy.” A big grin slides over that idiotic face like he is a moron.
“And there might be pirate treasure inside,” adds his little sidekick, I forget his name.
“Dude, there ain’t no such thing as pirate treasure! That’s only in movies, doofus!” the leader spouts out at him.
The rest of the gang laughs unable to hear me while mumbling, “Whatever you say…”
The sidekick angrily replies, “Pirates are real! I bet there really are some!”
Feeling a shiver run up my spine, I had to act fast, thinking that they would go to investigate, maybe even find my mystical vortex. Trying to discourage any of them, I quickly spurt out, “I hear that there is quick sand in the forest. It swallowed up a dog and some pigs.”
The leader returned fire with, “I hear a group of homeless men were living in the haunted house last year…”
The school bell rings. It catches us all off guard again. I make a mad dash for it, running down the hall quickly, but damn…I’m late again.
Mr. Goldberg writes me up. He says I have detention for being late again. Oh, I hate being in a classroom. It would be wonderful to be anywhere else in this enormous universe. Goldberg lectures us on being late, and how we should be on time since this is our last year. The lecture is long, boring and just so repetitive.
The one thing that I hate the most about school is hall monitors. Those asses that report you to teachers, especially if your shirt is not tucked in right and proper. For heaven’s sake, I feel like I live in a police state, like those poor sods in Nazi Germany. I wish that I could roam the halls free without a pass. I hate always having to beg teachers for permission!
Finally, the lunch bell rings. Damn it all to hell, I forgot to bring my lunch again. What is it with my poor memory?
It used to be that I would only forget answers. Yeah, to the questions on the final exam.At recess, that sidekick holds out a picture, wanting to talk to me.
“Here is a picture of your future WHALE, I mean wife. What a fat pig,” he teases.
It was a picture of what had to be the fattest girl in the whole school, and she is all covered over in acne. ‘Pepperoni Pizza’ is her nick name. I know it’s cruel but yet it’s kind of funny all the same.
“Well, at least I like women!” I boast.
The other kids laugh at him as he slowly walks. Finally, the last bell rings and I make my way home. Why are days so long anyway? Well, my house is over a mile away.
As soon as I walk in the front door, Dad starts lecturing me. “Look at this paper,” he says. “You got a B in gym. In math, you got an A minus. B is for bum, and that is what you are!” he continued.
“Ah dad, I’m sorry. I’ll try to study more.” I tell him.
He yells at me, “TRY!!! If your grades don’t improve, I will get rid of all your comics. Yeah that’s it; I will throw them all away!”
I know better than to talk to my mom. All she ever does is scream at me.
Nevertheless, I don’t even know where mom is. It makes me worry though. What if mom runs away? She may never come back again!
“Hey, where’s mom?” I ask.
“She has to travel for her company,” he replies meagerly.
Well, I know dad is lying. Something is definitely up…he’s not being straight with me….and I do worry!!!
I have to cook food in the morning. That is because mom is gone. Mostly, I cook stuff that is very easy. For example, I make grits and some eggs.
School was not a lot of fun, early in the morning. Miss Penny, our new home room teacher asked us our names. The student in front of me said ,“M-marcus…” She said, “That is a wonderful name.” He said, “What you say?“ She replied ,“It reminds me of Marcus Garvey.” He replied, “M-marcus Washington is my name.” She said, “Oh Washington, he was the father of our country many years ago.”
Then Marcus exploded, “Washington ain’t no fatha, he’s a motha, and that motha had some slaves - you know what I’m sayin’?” Miss Penny made a tactical error. It is not wise to make wild “unmotivated” students angry.
OK so next day was more boring even. There has to be an exciting place in this universe. I was listening to our regular teacher again. Mr. Goldberg was brought back again. What can I say about the bad penny? She did not work out as they say. Goldberg was giving a long monotonous lecture that went on and on. He said "Right now we have serious problems in our economy. It is getting harder to find good jobs that pay. OUTSOURCING is an issue." Leader stood up. He said, "OUTSOURCING, get me out of here now." The class started laughing real hard and they were roaring. Mr. Goldberg said, "Bradley, please sit down and shut up." Class became so quiet you could hear a pin. Leader was kicked out of the school for expressing his opinion. I wonder who is going to be the new leader of our gang.
Perhaps, I can be the leader as Side Kick is in special ed now. Hey, nobody is going to follow that ninny. OK so the next day our LEADER came to see us. He said, "Hey guys, there is no more gang." I was expecting him to announce a new name. Then I said, "OK, so we guess that if you cannot be our master, then you want no one." He got mad and hit me. I punched him back but he was bigger than me. I woke up.
There was blood dripping from my nose. Side kick was saying he was the new leader, but no one wanted to follow this moron. Then one twelve year old says to me, “Dude, you a loser and we will only follow a winner.“ Sadly, the gang was no more. I slowly limped home to wash my nose.
Without the gang, life was more boring then ever. Mom was never home now. Dad was always angry. Where was mom anyway? People at school said she was seeing another man.
The next day I, was walking to class and saw a UFO up in the air. It was so scary. Like I knew it was an alien spaceship, but what race? Maybe they were the grays. Those like to abduct us. OK, then again, it could be the tall blonds, and I hear their girls are nice. After school, I told my dad what I saw.
"Hey Dad, you ever seen a UFO ???"
He glared at me. "Ah no, only people that see them are crazy."
I continued asking questions. "Do you think there are aliens that live in outer space?"
He said, "There ain't no world, but this one son." He did pause, "Problem is, you spend too much time reading comics. Keep your feet on the ground and stop day dreaming or you're gonna wind up working at Walmart for the minimum wage."
I said, "But you never thought about people going into space?"
He shot back, "Kid, we never went to the moon. It is a hoax like $anta Claus and the ea$ter bunny and porky p-p-pig." He then said "Oh, forget about it, cuz it’s time for supper."
Hey, I am sorry. Dad cannot cook any. Like he burns the beans and rice. Wish that I knew where mom was.
The next day, I walked alone to school without my gang. This was gonna be a long year.
At school Side Kick said to me, “OK so ya wanna join my gang?”
I shot back, “I don’t think so.”
He said “Hey, your wife lives in a flying saucer.” Kids in the class started laughing and one said “YO! There ain’t no such thing you dummy!”
I started going to the haunted house a lot more now. It was like my escape. This teleporter could take me far away. Then one day mom came back to us. Dad told me mom had cancer. She was going to pass away soon. Mom had lost all her hair and she was very pale - like a ghost even. Hey, it was terrible seeing my ghostly mom. She was so scary.
Fact is, I never told my parents about the haunted house, or I would have been forbidden to enter the scary forest ever again. That said, I did use my portal to travel to places that where near. The furthest I traveled was approx seven miles, and I pedaled home using my bicycle and by the time I got home it was dark and I had little energy.
I quickly learned that by walking backwards I could go back through the portal into the mysterious room. This did extend my range. I was now able to visit LA and NYC. Everyday after school I would pedal my bike to the forest and run to the mysterious room. There was an uncanny glow when the portal was open. What does uncanny mean? OK so it means - peculiarly unsettling of a supernatural origin. Another close word is eerie.
Kuiella second chapter
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