[A Tale Of A Squirrel]
The Mist of Spaghetti Sauce
Josiah leaned forward while inhaling deeply with half closed eyes. It was his mother's special spaghetti sauce and all it had needed was to be heated and the noodles added. The aroma brought back childhood memories of his parents and himself gathering around their small little table. His father talking about work. Josiah talked about school and life was simple and it was a good life. He gave a half head shake, thinking how the times sure had changed but life was still good.
What he needed and what he had been craving was a simple salad and garlic bread with the spaghetti he was preparing for dinner but he was lacking such ingredients, he had to go to the store. He didn't want to go but he also wanted dinner to be something he had remembered in his younger days.
"Boys!" Josiah called out as he turned off the sauce and placing a lid on the pot. He wasn't sure where in the house his two brothers and his son were occupying but he had been graced with a booming voice that they could hear it. "Boys!" He yelled again as he made his way towards the front door.
"You hollered?" Vin voice quested from above him.
Josiah looked up with a smile at the three heads looking down over the banister. They must had been in Ezra's room, he thought to himself. JD was the only one that waved down at him. "I need to run to the family market. I won't be long."
"See you when you get back." Ezra shrugged while turning away, going back to his room most likely.
"Hey can you pick me up some chips and chocolate and maybe some cola oh, and Twizzlers would be great too. I think they are buy one and get one this week." Vin asked with serious puppy dog eyes. "I hadn't eaten since breakfast."
JD pulled a face at his brother. "But Vin, we just had..." He had started but quickly was hushed by a slap of a hand over his mouth.
Vin ignored the glare JD gave him.
"I'll pick up some chocolate ice cream for dessert." Josiah took his keys from the little hooks near the door. "Try not to burn down the house while I am gone."
"We will do our best." Vin called after him, pulling his hand away from JD's mouth with a disgusted look on his face while wiping the palm of his hand over the front of his shirt. "You pig! You slimed my hand."
It should had only taken a half an hour, maybe an hour at the most but Josiah had ran into Emma Dubonnet. She mentioned a movie at the drive-in, one that he also had wanted to see and before he knew it, he had a date that Saturday night. Josiah was astounded that the chemistry they had shared in their youth was still as strong as it ever was and maybe, just perhaps, he had a second chance. He had found himself wondering what it would had been like if he never left home. If he stayed, would he had married her? Then again, there would be no Nathan and there would be no Ezra. Having them as the center of his world, his life, it made him see things a little more different.
He whistled as he walked towards the backdoor of his home. The door that would open to a mud room and then the kitchen he had been remodeling. How he had managed to opened the doors without dropping the cloth bags was a clever balance. How he managed not to drop the bags on seeing the state of his kitchen, that remained a mystery.
His shock turned into fear on thinking that maybe this was the work of burglars and his heart raced as his mind went to the boys' safety. Until he saw them. Safe. Messy but safe and peeking around the pantry door at him, all ten wide eyes staring back at him.
Ten, saucers eyes. Two serious blue pair that Vin owned. Two chocolate brown that belong to his baby brother, JD. The pair of sharp green eyes of his son. Two yellow eyes belonging to a cat the size of a Mastiff...well not that big and tiny beady black eyes belonging to Mr Grey the squirrel, his tree tenant.
With the kids in sight, he took a moment to assets the damage. Red splatter of spaghetti sauce dotted the walls, smeared on the floor. Stringy noodles were on the floor. The pantry door hung open with most of it's contents spewed on the floor like modern art of a child. The mixture of spaghetti sauce and white flour shown signs of shoe prints, tracing back to the boys. Rice, cereal Bread and bagels were on the floor, glasses and plates shattered. Cans of soup tossed about the kitchen like a juggling act gone wrong.
The kitchen table chairs were pushed away from the table in awkward positions, one even laying on it's side. Floured foot prints, about the size of Ezra's, were on the kitchen table's surface and on a few chair seats...and the counter top as well, Josiah noted. Ezra himself, was covered head to toe in white flour as well as the very large cat standing next to him.
JD was wearing Josiah's protective glasses snugly on is face and a mixing bowl on his head but that didn't stop the molasses from dripping from his hair and his back was covered in sauce while the front of his shirt had spots of flour.
And Vin stood like a deer caught in headlights, wearing the steel mesh cutting gloves and holding a squirrel in one hand and a fishing net in another but seemingly came out of the ordeal with only chocolate on his face and fruit loops in his hair.
"What the hell happened?" Josiah threw his arms out only to get a hand full of noodles in his open palm. He looked up to see that some of the spaghetti noodles were still attached to the ceiling.
"Welllll..."JD started giving Ezra and Vin a dark look, clearly ready to throw them under the bus.
"It was my idea..."Vin hurried, willing to take the full blame and giving the other two a chance to look like bystanders. Except they were wearing evidence that clearly stated they were not innocent.
"I am stating that I wish to use my Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution." Ezra lifted his chin.
"Hey..."Vin looked over at Ezra and back at Josiah. "Can I plead the fifth too!"
"No. We aren't in a court of law." Josiah was shaking his head. "What happened!"
"Not only does the Fifth Amendment applies in court but it also applies private enterprise, group or individuals. Although there are only four of us, we do make up the very definition of a group of individuals. And, I also would like to point out that Vin is a US citizen, so deny him of his rights is unconstitutional." Ezra waved a hand towards his young uncle. "And we demand to practice our rights."
Josiah bit his bottom lip whiling glaring at Ezra. He knew his son was trying to stall to figure out a somewhat logical story and hoping, in the meantime, to jump into a different direction of topic. "You are not his lawyer." Josiah put his hands on his hips. "What happened?"
"Imma hiring him." Vin pointed over at Ezra with the fishing net. The squirrel still in his other hand acted as it was used to this kind of happenings.
"Lawyers have an hourly wage." Ezra raised his eyebrows. "And you are broke."
"I have dirt on you." Vin squinted his eyes at Ezra. "Blackmail dirt."
"No you don't." Ezra blinked with an after thought. "How much dirt are you talking about? That wouldn't incriminate yourself?"
"Enough to get free advice from my lawyer." Vin smirked.
"Boys." Josiah clapped his hands and noticed the squirrel starting to squirming in Vin's hands. "Vin take that out!"
Vin hurried towards the door, holding the squirrel safely away from him while leaving Ezra and JD in the glaring eyes of his older brother.
"Maybe we should clean up." Ezra looked down at himself, the flour was caked on him thick.
"After the kitchen is cleaned. For now son, why don't you start the process of cleaning and JD." Josiah patted the boy on the shoulder. "You come with me to the mud room."
"Are you going to give me a switch!" JD's brown eyes grew large as he followed Josiah into the other room.
"No. But I do want to hear your side of the story. Then you can switch places with one of the other boys." Josiah opened the door for him and at that time, Vin walked back inside. "Vin, give Ezra a hand."
Now Josiah could be angry with the situation. His dinner plans, once again ruined. His kitchen in a chaos of a mess but, Josiah learned lessons while volunteering for Humanity. Patience was in deed a virtue. Happiness was what you made of what you had. Life was a blessing. Some where, some place, there is someone worse off than what he was dealing with at he moment and most likely, wishing they were in his shoes. And so if this was the worse thing that had ever happened to him, well his life was in great shape. After all, the kitchen could be cleaned.
Josiah put a firm but gentle hand on his youngest brother while he guided JD to take a seat on the wooden storage bench while he took the chair that he would normally use to take off his dirty shoes before entering the kitchen.
"Now JD." Josiah leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees and resting his chin in his right palm of his hand. "Something happened while I was at the market, isn't that so?"
JD's eyes grew large while he slowly shook his shaggy dark hair. "You have no idea!" JD's voice had hitched up in a dramatic tone as he threw his hands in the air. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you!"
"Yeah, I think I may." Josiah disagreed. He leaned back into the chair, folding his arms in front of him. "Go on and tell me."
"Well it happened like this, Josiah." JD took a deep breath and started his side of the story.
Sorry for my absence. I went into busy season late last year and it went strong through the start of this year. I had a month to catch up with home life when coronvirus came about. I am working 6 days of ten hours. I am seeing more work than I did during my busy season. It's unreal. I am not complaining. I need the money, I am working when so many are not and my family - so far- are healthy. I am just explaining my disappearance. Today, I just happened to take a mental day - a personal day. I didn't want to- I'm afraid to use time in case I do get c19- it's closing in on my hometown and I am good at picking up illnesses but I'm exhausted. I needed it. I'm done rambling on it.
I still want to share my stories. This story - I wrote a thousand times over. I didn't like how it was coming about. But I think I got it. I am also thinking of playing with a different perspective, a first person perspective which I normally do not do so bare with me on that - which will be in the next chapter. I also wanted this to be light and carefree story. I don't know when I can update next. I do have the next chapter in a draft phase which is obviously JD's telling of the story. Each boys gets his time to explain what had happened.
I am drafting up the Chaucer and Ezra story as well as the Indian Museum story (it's going to have a bang in it). I just don't have the time on my hands at the moment but I haven't forgotten.
Keep care everyone. ❤