Archive for August, 2012
With Saturday came another soccer game, and another victory for Larry and the rest of his team.
“You kids are going to empty out my bank account with all these wins,” said Larry’s father. “Now who’s hungry for some pizza?”
The answer which roared out from the team was unanimous, and soon Larry was riding with Sampson to the pizza place.
“It’s pretty cool that you’d rather ride with me than fly,” Sampson said as he kept his eyes on the road, a miracle to beat all miracles.
“You’re more fun to talk to. It gets kind of dull talking to myself.” It was the truth, but it still felt misleading somehow.
“It’s funny, though. I’ve never seen you fly. I’ve seen Freddy fly a gazillion times!”
“I’ve seen him fly too, especially when he’s divebombing me.”
“Sometimes I think you just don’t like to fly.”
How could Larry respond to that? “I…just think it’s better to do as everyone else does. I feel like…I’m showing off if I fly.” It surprised him how easily the lie slipped out of his beak. If only he could tell Sampson the truth, but pride and a bit of uncertainity kept him from doing so.
“You got wings,” Sampson said. “Most of us don’t.” He reached over and squeezed Larry’s knee. “But it’s really thoughtful of you to think that.”
Larry felt the weight of guilt on his shoulders, but before he could say anything else, Sampson drove up to the parking lot. Freddy was already there, as usual, climbing out of the bed of their father’s truck.
“Hey, Larry,” Freddy said. “Hey, Samps.”
Sampson raised an eyebrow at Freddy. “Samps?”
“Yeah, it’s short for Sampson. You know, the name your ‘rents gave you?”
“I know what my name is, Freddy,” Sampson folded his arms. “But I dunno why I’m being saddled with that nickname.”
“Just felt like giving you one.” Freddy preened a wing. “I can’t pick on Larry all the time. It gets boring after a while.”
Sampson looked over at Larry, who had been quiet this whole time. Partly to avoid being a target for Freddy, and partly because he wanted to see how this would all play out.
“Well?” Sampson said. “Do you have anything to add to this, Larry?”
“We should get inside before someone else orders pizza for us,” Larry said. You know they’re going to screw it up.”
Freddy opened his beak in a grin. “My little brother is making sense for once. Let’s go inside!”
“I can’t imagine that,” Larry admitted. “They seen really nice, though.”
“I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, even if they won’t let me have a new car.”
Dinner was then announced, and after a slightly damp Max joined them at the dining table, they all dug into the chicken with sweet corn and green peas as a side dish, though Larry dined on more of the former and less on the latter.
Dessert was vanilla ice cream, which caused Max to raise an eyebrow at Jordan. “You do know there are other flavors of ice cream than vanilla?”
Jordan stuck his tongue out at the large minotaur. “I like vanilla.”
“So I noticed.”
“And since I had to prepare dinner, I say you eat vanilla ice cream for dessert or go without.”
“They like to tease each other,” Plato said as he and Larry got into the station wagon after finishing off the ice cream. “I guess that’s why they’ve been together for so long.”
“I hope I can be so lucky,” Larry said.
When they arrived at Larry’s house, Plato patted Larry on the knee. “Thanks for tutoring me. Same time next week?”
“Sure thing. See you at school tomorrow.”
As Plato drove away, Larry realized his heart was thumping just as hard as when Sampson had patted his knee.
I hate my hormones, Larry thought, not without a touch a bitterness and a lot of confusion.
The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon R Green
Godheads and Other Stories by Patrick O’Duffy
Hotel Flamingo by Patrick O’Duffy
Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R Green
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny by Simon R Green
A Hard Day’s Knight by Simon R Green
The Crimson Collection by Stephen D Sullivan