|Image: Will Hallewell / Elise Abrams|
My mother had gone out of town that day and I was left watching my brother. To say we were bored would be an understatement. There was literally nothing to do. I couldn’t come up with one good idea, one game we could play, one movie we could watch, one cat video on the Internet we could view on my phone to make us laugh. It was utterly ridiculous. If on the other hand, we’d done what my mom suggested, we would have stayed there all day and…dust, dust, dust, dust… clean, clean, clean, clean…and I'm allergic to brooms.
I sighed as I sat back on the couch with my golden retriever, Zack on my lap. He shed as I petted his back, getting hair everywhere, hair I’d probably have to eventually clean up. Did I mention that I was allergic to brooms?
Now, for you dog lovers out there, let me tell you a bit about Zack. Zack came from a shelter, but he’s quite a nice dog. He follows me all over the place, jumping up and licking my face when I sit down, playing fetch…poorly, drooling on the floor when it’s hot. He’s a great dog and his wet licks are fun, and make me laugh hard, but on that particular day, he wasn’t filling the void in my life. My brother and I wanted something to do, something that would ease our strife, something that would erase our boredom.
I stood up and stretched, briefly forgetting what had been going on, and Zack fell off of my lap onto the floor with a thud! He looked up at me with sad, droopy eyes, and I reached down and petted the top of his head, “I’m sorry, buddy, but you have to stay. This day’s for the guys.” I have to say that he looked up at me rather sadly, but he seemed to understand. At least as much as a dog could understand.
“C’mon, Sebastian,” I yelled up the stairs, a little flustered that he didn’t seem to want to answer. Again, I could have sworn it was he who had been bugging me to go to the store with him. “Sebastian!”
“What’s up?” He called back to me in a sarcastic tone of voice. “What do you want?”
“Let’s go the mall,” I shouted right back to him. “There’s bound to be something to see there.”
“Yeah? Like what? Clothes and shoes? Cell phone cases that we don’t need? Stuff seen on TV? I don’t want to go to the mall, Doug. Can’t I just stay here and play my game?”
“What game, Donkey Kong?”
“How old are you, Doug? Donkey Kong is a relic from the past. This is Grand Theft Auto, get with the times.”
“You know Mom wouldn’t let you play that game if she knew you were doing it. Now, c’mon. Let’s go before I rat you out.” I was only 18 and couldn’t stand what Sebastian was playing on his TV. If I were his father (which essentially I am, since our father is…well, let’s just say he’s gone), he wouldn’t be playing those games. I’m one of the exceptions to the rule kids who thinks that being outside is way more fun than sitting in front of a game console all day, shooting virtual people.
It was only a few seconds later that Sebastian stomped down the steps, his shoes in his hands, and his hair a mess. A scowl had crossed his face and I was certain it was going to stay there permanently.
“This had better be good,” he barked at me, and I turned and walked away from him.
“Put your shoes on and let’s see,” I replied with what I wanted to be a smile, but what was probably a scowl. The kid sure was moody for being only eight.
I started toward the kitchen and the door that led to the garage. I listened to Sebastian sigh, and then flop down on the couch to put on his shoes. I watched as he laced his shoes and then slugged his way over to me. He waved his hand in a 'let’s go' gesture, and I gave him a half-smile and opened the door.
We stepped outside into the garage.
Now, it wasn’t my car that was in the garage, that was a one-car space reserved for Mom, but the garage did lead to the gravel spot that was attached to the driveway for my car, a car any kid of 18 would more than approve of –a shimmering, gold Firebird.
When I say any kid, I mean any kid who doesn’t mind cars from the 80s that have a bit of rust and chug gasoline like it was water in a desert. Still, it was a set of wheels, and that’s what I needed at my age: a good set of wheels.
We said goodbye to Zack, pulled the door closed, and were in the car in no time. The sun was already beating down on my car, making the inside unbearable, but in a few minutes we'd be cruising down the street toward the mall and clothes and shoes and stuff we didn’t need, the heat blowing out of the open windows like…well, like the wind.
About the author
|Image: Will Hallewell / Elise Abrams|
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|Image: Will Hallewell / Elise Abram|
Wait–put the brains in?
Before they know it, not only are Doug and Sebastian’s lives turned upside down, but so are scores of others’ lives as well.
Narrated with a mix of prose and verse, not to mention a healthy dose of mischief and mayhem, Gazore! is sure to satisfy the child in all of us.