Pulling the Pieces Apart

The Gathering—“Home”


As I walked away mumbling every expletive I could think of, my brother
opened his window again and called me back over.

“Do you really want to come in? It would suck that you’d have to stay

I was suddenly on the verge of tears at my brother’s newfound kindness.

“Yes,” I said as meekly as possible.

“You’ll let me keep the monkey? You’ll never mention the monkey again?
You’ll pretend as if the monkey never existed?


“Say it. Say ‘you can keep the monkey which has never existed’. Say it!”

“You can keep the monkey which has never existed, oh grand exalted
brother of mine,” I said, throwing in the last part just for good

“You’re sure now?”


He held up a mini-recorder. “You can’t renege on that monkey thing now
since I have it on tape.”

That confuses me now since I don’t know what he could have used the tape
for. Who would have cared that I denied the existence of a monkey?
However, back then it was a big deal for some reason and I was impressed
by his bargaining skills and his ability, once again, to score one for
his side.
“That’s fine. The monkey’s yours. Don’t know why I wanted a stupid
monkey anyway.”

“Excellent. You’ve made a wise choice.”

“Great, You win, I lose. Now let me in!”

“And risk the wrath on mom and dad? Are you crazy?”

“But you said you would!”

“Yeah sure, but you better leave or I’ll have to call the cops, say
there’s a prowler or something. Gotta go, my monkey’s calling for me.”

The window was again closed and I was left stranded.

Feeling tired, I went to the backyard and found a cozy place to lay down
near the compost pile. Soon I fell asleep as the bugs marched my way to
have their day and way with me.

I woke up some hours later covered with beetles, ants, spiders, worms
and salamanders but felt good since the sun was out and I would probably
be allowed access to the house. After I brushed off as many of the
critters as possible, I went to the front of the house, saw the garage
was open, put my bike in its proper place and entered the house.

When I got to the kitchen, I saw my daily bowl of Special K waiting for
me. No welcome home meal, just a bowl of tasteless cereal which I sat
down and ate since I was a bit hungry.

When I was done I went up to my room and found the doorknob had been
reversed with the lock now on the outside of the door, an obvious
message from my parents.

COMING NEXT: What the message was

Stephen Johnson

The idea of building a website with Bob came from Stephen in the days of message boards and chat rooms. We settled on the name TheWeirdcrap.com and the rest is history. Retired since he hit the ripe age of 25, he spends most his time doing odd-jobs around the house and digging thru trash bins for "stuff that's still good." Stephen has contributed several short stories and hosted the "Lunatic Ravings" column since the beginning (1999). The idea of writing weekly columns came from Stephen before blogs or blog sites ever existed. So, I guess that makes him THE FIRST BLOGGER IN THE WORLD!!!


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