Caddy Cornered

Contributor: Ava Wilson

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“You think he’ll be mad, Chris?”
“Course he will. We didn’t mean to be late though. Couldn’t be helped.”
“Yeah, he’s upset alright. Just washed the Caddy this morning, now it’s raining,” said Carl.
Chris pushed his matted hair off his forehead. Carl hunched further down behind a thorny rosebush.
“Why do you think he parked on this side of the street and not the driveway?”
“Don’t know,” said Chris.
“He whipped us something fierce last time we were late, the Caddy wasn’t even wet that night.”
“Yeah. I know numb nuts, I was there, too.”
“Think he loves that old car more than us, Chris?”
“Yep. Now shut your pie hole so we can sneak in.”
Chris looked from side to side. His clothes drenched, shoes squishing rain.
“If we stay low,” said Chris, “we can dodge the streetlights and sneak by the neighbor lady. She doesn’t like rain, so she might not be looking out this time.”
“Hush up and come on.”
“Chris,” said Carl.
Carl smacked a puddle hard with his right hand. Mud splashed.
“Hey, what did you go and do that for?”
“I’m not ready, Chris. Can’t move yet. My legs won’t move. Think they’re nervous.”
Carl’s hand trembled in the mud puddle, his eyes as big and wet as the Caddy’s headlights.
“You have to be ready, Carl, or it’ll be worse. You know it will.”
Carl lowered his eyes. Touched his arm where the day-old cigar burn stung.
“Yeah, I know. Let’s go. Still don’t know why he parked there.”
“It doesn’t matter where he parked,” said Chris,. “All that matters is we haul ass in there somehow.”
“What if he already checked our room? Then what?”
“We say we were in the basement, you know, playing that hiding game like we do. Besides, we’re not real late. He just got in. I figure he’s in the kitchen talking to Ma. Eating shepherd’s pie or something. We can slip in the side door, he doesn’t pay attention to the side door.”
“What if he looked down there first?”
“Down where first?”
“The dang basement.”
“He didn’t. And— and I just said he’s talking, and eating pie, and— and not minding the side door remember? Weren’t you listening squirt? You never listen. Now pipe down, and stop asking questions. We have to go.”
Chris inched forward, crouched like a cricket. Carl followed close behind.
“You never listen, Chris. Told you we shouldn’t have gone across town, I told you.”
Carl smacked his forehead two times.
“Stop doing that. And now you got mud on your forehead. Good job Carl, if he catches us he’ll really know now.”
“How are we supposed to sneak in these wet clothes? Think nobody will notice we look like a couple-a seals?”
“There are dry clothes in the basement, genius.”
“But, but won’t Mom notice we changed? Chris, won’t she?”
“She never notices anything about us. Especially when he’s home.”
Oh, just shut-up, Carl and come on. It’s getting later and later. You’re cutting our chances to zero, Carl, zero.’”
“Wish we could turn into that old Caddy, Chris. Wish we could. He’d love us then, you know?”
“What would you want that for? You see how he does Ma right after he says he loves her, don’t you? Not so good I think,” said Chris.
“But he’s nice to that old car. Maybe, maybe we could all turn into it. You, me… Ma. He takes real good care of it. Washes it every time the sun comes out, Chris. Every. Time. And he whistles when he does it, he whistles. When it snows, he covers it. And you see that smile while he cleans the inside, see how he is after it’s all shined up?”
“Yeah. I’ve seen it. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t know the old man had teeth or a sense of humor.”
“That’s why, Chris. Why I wish we could turn into the old Caddy. It gets treated real nice like. He’d never put a burn on that.”
“Alright, I get it, squirt. But we’ve got to get going now.

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Ava Wilson is currently acquiring her BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. She is also a published author and illustrator of the children’s book entitled, Crunky McBunky, a published poet and playwright, her plays include, For the Love of Friends, and Feathery Heights. Ava is a professional spoken-word artist, and actor of stage and film under her stage name, Nailah Blu.
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