Young kids Melanie and Jake stood on the beach, looking at the biggest
storm cloud seen there in Alabama since they were born. "Will you marry
me?" he asked. Melanie wasn't listening, she was looking at a smoky hole in
the sand, reaching her hand out to touch it. Jake stopped her. "Don't touch
it Mel, it's hot," he said, grabbing her hand and holding them. "We'll be
safe here," he said. "How do you know?" she asked, a little timidly.
"Cause, lightning never strikes the same place twice," he said. Little
Melanie looked at him, reassured. "So will you marry me?" he asked. She
didn't say anything for a minute. "Why do you want to marry me?" she asked
curiously. "So I can kiss you anytime I want to," he said, smiling. She
stood up and they faced each other. Jake leaned in a little, slowly at
first. Melanie leaned in towards him, and they kissed softly.
Melanie, Jake, Wade, and Bobby Ray were sitting in a large red booth inside
the diner sharing milkshakes. They turned and looked as they saw Eldon
coming in, carrying a cat named Fuzz. "What's wrong with him?" asked
Melanie as Wade came over and sat with them. "He's got cancer," said Wade.
"They're going to kill him since no one wants him," he said. Melanie's eyes
opened real wide. "No, they can't do that," she whined. "Being blown up
won't be any better," said Bobby Ray. "Yeah, but it will go faster," said
Jake. "Well come on guys let's go," shouted Wade and Eldon, jumping up,
taking the scruffy cat with them. Melanie and Jake followed them curiously.
They were headed down to the old highway to get some explosives.
"Will this be enough?" asked Melanie, watching the boys. "Let's hope so,
this is all we got," said Bobby Ray. Jake and Eldon taped the dynamite to
Fuzz. Bobby Ray lit the fuse and they ran as fast as they could back to the
diner. "Is he gonna be okay?" asked Melanie. "He'll be fine Mel, now hush
your mouth before you get us caught," said Jake, taking her by the hand as
they ran. Out of breath, they went into the diner and sat down together.
"Five chocolate milkshakes please," said Bobby Ray. The waitress brought
them their milkshakes and they sipped the thick chocolate through striped
straws without talking.
Melanie looked up and stopped sipping her shake. Pointing outside the
window she said, "Hey, isn't that Fuzz?" The boys were startled at the
sight of the cat. "I thought you said that he would stay out of town, out
in the field," said Melanie. "We thought he would," said Bobby Ray. "Fuzz
must really like you Eldon, what'd you give him?" "Just some tuna," said
Leaving their milkshakes on the table, they rushed outside to get Fuzz.
When they got outside and up close to him, they saw the flame near his
black tail. As Bobby Ray came closer to him, Fuzz shot away and ran into a
tiny hole near the alley behind the bank. "Maybe he'll find his way home,"
said Wade. But it was too late. They heard a loud boom come from behind the
alley. "Poor Fuzz," whispered Melanie. "Anything's better than cancer,"
said Wade. Before anyone could say anything else, the only fire engine in
town came tearing after them. "Let's step on it!" they said, running as
fast as they could and hiding behind some trees.
They stayed there until it got dark. "I think the coast is clear now,"
whispered Wade. "Come on, I've got an idea," said Eldon. "Oh no what is it
this time," mumbled Jake. "Come on, just come on," said Eldon. The four
agreed and followed Eldon to the Winn-Dixie in town. "I don't want to go,
can't I get another?" asked Melanie, whining a little. "Come on now Mel,
don't be a baby," said Wade. "You gotta go, you've been dared," said Eldon.
"We'll be waiting right here for you when you get back," said Jake. Melanie
sighed. She tiptoed up the side of the store. She looked back at the four
boys. "Go on," whispered Eldon, motioning for her to go. Melanie nodded.
Jake began to giggle. "She's gonna be busted." "Nah, no one would believe
she would do something like that," said Eldon. Melanie came back from
around the corner, out of breath and her jacket a little bulkier than
before. She unzipped it and pulled out three rib-eye steaks. The boys were
wide-eyed. "Holy cow Mel, I didn't think you'd do it," said Eldon. "I don't
believe it," said Wade. "Believe it," said Melanie with a smile, glancing
The next night, the five kids stood behind the fence staring at the sign in
front of them that read "No Trespassing." But that wasn't going to stop
them. "But we can't go in there," said Bobby Ray. "That doesn't matter,
come on," said Eldon, climbing over the fence. Wade, Bobby Ray, Jake and
Melanie followed. They stood in the middle of the field, looking at cow
chewing on the freshly dewed grass. "Come on guys, help me. Get on that
side," pointed Eldon. Wade and Eldon got on one side, then Melanie, Jake,
and Bobby Ray got on the other side. "One, two, three.TIP!" said Eldon.
After some effort, the cow lay on his side and mooed loudly. Eldon walked
closer to the cow, and took out a can of Silly String from inside of his
jacket pocket. He shook it up and took the cap off. "What are you going to
do with that?" asked Wade. "You'll see," said Eldon. He wrote carefully
with the Silly String, making sure that it didn't break. At the cows feet,
he wrote, "Thanks for the tip!" They all began to laugh as they watched
Eldon write in the Silly String. It began to get much darker. "Let's get
out of here," said Bobby Ray, walking back and climbing over the fence.
Jake, Melanie, Eldon, and Wade followed him. "Night, see you tomorrow,"
said Melanie, walking into the house.
Melanie didn't want her mom to catch her, and crept quietly down the hall
and into her room. But it was too late. "Melanie Smooter!" Uh oh, busted.
Melanie hung her head as her mother scolded her. "You need to stop spending
time with those boys, you'll only get yourself in trouble," said Pearl.
"Now go to bed," said her mother. "Yes ma'am," said Melanie, hanging her
head as she walked down the hall into her room and shut the light off,
climbing into bed without even changing her clothes.
Several days later, the five were sitting in their bare feet with their
legs hanging over the dock, splashing in the water. "I'm bored," said Wade,
swinging his legs back and forth a little faster, splashing the water and
making it come up and getting them wet. "So I am," said Melanie. "Me too,"
said Jake. "Yeah," said Bobby Ray. "I've got an idea," said Eldon. They all
sighed. "Something that my brother and his friends used to do when they
were bored, just like us," he said, taking a cigarette lighter out of his
pocket. "Come on Wade," coaxed Jake, catching on to Eldon's idea. Eldon
went first. He struck the lighter and watched the flame surge. Jake
volunteered to go next as soon as the methane smell left the air. Melanie
tried to say between all the laughter, "I'll never get why you think this
is so funny." But she was giggling so hard so could hardly stop herself
from laughing. It was Wade's turn next. It was unfortunate for him that the
gas was too much.the lighter was too close to his pants. But they were all
laughing so hard they didn't notice. Melanie and Jake looked up at the same
time, roaring with laughter as they saw a stream of smoke slowly creeping
down Wade's pant leg. Wade screamed as tiny flames began to appear on his
pants. He stopped swinging his legs and jumped into the water below.
Melanie, Jake, Eldon, and Bobby Ray watched, falling over with laughter.