“Do you remember,” Rafiq idly asked. “That hot, humid summer morning when Mrs. McConnely slid off the roof? I’ll never forget that afternoon.”
“When the bees swarmed into the kitchen?” Shindar asked in return.
“That’s because Mom slammed the pan into the wall too hard and broke through their hive.”
“The buzzing was affecting her brain.”
“But it was really just her tinnitus.”
“I don’t think I’d like that ringing all the time.”
“Bells, bells, bells!” Rafiq exclaimed. “Can’t anyone think of anything else?”
“Hey! There goes a train!”
“Right through the barn!”
“Oh, the Chickens! Oh, the chickens!!”
“Feathers flying everywhere!”
“That’s my pillow!”
“Oh, damn! I did it again,” Rafiq looked down at his wet pants as the stain began to spread.
“Popped your cork too quick again, I see,”
“Well, the bottle wasn’t shut tight,” he held it upside down as the last drops dripped out.
“That ketchup was supposed to last all night,” his mother said sternly. “I guess we’ll have to drink soup instead.” Her flyswatter hit three bees on the counter at once, and she brushed them to the floor. “Where’s that dog when you need him?”
“Momma, did you see my…” Cryinthia began as she entered the room and took one look around. “OH! GROSS!!!” She fled retching.
“Well, I guess that answers who’s going to ride the tilt-a-whirl,” remarked Rafiq.
“NOT HER!” Both boys exclaimed with glee!
“I get to sit on the outside!”
“I get to ride the roof!”
“Slow down boys,” the mother cautioned. “The flood’s not here yet. We’ll have to wait till the giant comes home.”
“That could be days!” Wailed Shindar.
“Or seconds,” said Rafiq with finality.
“Who wants seconds?” Mother asked hopefully.
“No thanks, I think I’ll just go outside and sweat.”
“So will I,” added Shindar. “It’s easier, or harder.”
“What’s hard?”
“Frozen lard. Are you squishy?”
“OH! Don’t rub any on me!” Rafiq scooted away.
“What happened to old Mrs. McConnely?”
“She jellied out just before she reached the ground.”
“Oh. Was it bad?”
“Pretty bad.”
“That’s sad.”
“Unless you like jelly,” interjected Rafiq. “I like strawberry.”
“I’ll strawberry you!”
And the boys were rolling in the water once again. Not trying to drown each other, but grasping for air just out of reach, then once again stopping.
“Truce! Truce! Uncle Goose.”
“Quack, quack! You’re Mack.”
“A Big Mac…
“Semi-trailer truck sinking through the floor.”
“Out the door!”
“What a poor boar. Oink! Oink!!”
“But a BIG BORE! Don’t listen to him, I’ve got to run to the gym.”
“To get thin? On the rim?
“Of the tyre hanging from the tree.”
“Well, don’t hang these…”
“Suspenders from a wire?”
“I’ll gyer you!”
“Who’s the dryer?”
“I am now.”
“And how!”
As they howled at the moon they couldn’t see but trusted to be true for them and you when needed to light the way in the dark forest at noon, but soon…

The sun smiled on, making the day hotter and hotter and hotter.

One thought on “Never Forget… What? by Duane L. Herrmann

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