"I need to sleep better."
Double D caressed the pointy end of his hat with delicacy. He had just taken a short and uncomfortable nap.
Having been experimenting in his garage all night long wasn't a good idea after all. Well, it wasn't smart at all. Good Lord, he had a zombie face; bloodshot eyes, and the dark circles around his eyes were as big as a balloon. As soon as he'll finish this, he'll go to sleep and wake up until Monday morning. Or that's what he hoped to do.
Despite being acknowledged by anyone who knew him as the most righteous, honest, intelligent, selfless and kindest boy in the cul-de-sac, Double D keeps inside him a bit of ambition, as does everyone. In his case, his uncontrollable passion for being a know-it-all: finding facts to create hypothesis, disprove them, create more hypothesis, find one that confirms the fact, conclude and keep that theory until a new problem shows up. The good, old circle of argument. As a hobby, there wasn't any more exciting activity for this peculiar genius than to dive into the depths of scientific thinking and its enforcement to his daily life.
However, that was not what was keeping him there, tied to a chair in front of a desk full of test tubes, and recipients with concoction that only he could name, and shaking his head every twenty minutes after taking a quick nap of five minutes. All of that after falling asleep for a good portion of the night. Yes, his love for science was already superior to his physical strength. But his reasoning for this hard work was established in more than what his persona was. He was doing all of this because…
The pacific and relaxing silence that ruled the place until now was destroyed by that deafening sound. A sleepy Double D jumped in his chair, almost dropping an empty glass he had in his hand.
He got up from his seat and went to the living room, wondering who would call him on Friday at nine in the morning. It was an off day, so he assumed that everyone will be using that time to do what any student that didn't have any classes that morning would do: sleep.
He picked up the phone.
"Double D! This is terrible!" he heard Ed's desperation from the other line. "Something bad just happened!"
Ed was special. Double D knew that a friend like that is worth a lot, because in spite of his not so developed cunningness, the innocence of a child and the selflessness of someone that humble predominated in his personality, and he knew that there weren't many people like that in the world.
"You lost your investigator rocket from the planetary orbits model 2 scale 130-2 again? Have you looked under your mattress yet? The five fungi kingdoms could live there."
"No, it's much worse. I feel like I'm losing my breath. Come quick!"
Double D took for granted that anything that's happening, he would not say it over the phone. So he just didn't ask.
"Very well, just stay calm. I'm on my way, Ed." Without losing more time, he hung up and went to Ed's house.
It was a pleasant spring morning. There were a few clouds floating around in the sky. The sun was poking through them. The birds were chiming and a couple (or a pack) of dogs talking between them in their language could be heard from some place around the area.
As expected, there was no one on the street. And for Double D that was natural: after a short but intense week of classes, where they had exams all four days out of five, almost without having time to study for the next day, it would not be strange if the others woke up at eleven or twelve in the afternoon.
His house was located at the mouth of the cul-de-sack. Next to it was Rolf's house, the son of a shepherd, with his small farm behind it. In front, from its foundations rose that of Kevin's, jock with the bicycle; and right next to it, Eddy's, his other best friend. Two more houses completed the corridor, but they were from neighbors who did not usually appear on the streets. At the bottom, on the left side was Johnny's house, known for having a well-cut piece of wood as his best friend; Next door was Nazz, the platonic crush of Double D and every boy in the neighborhood; Then there was Jimmy's house, Sarah's best friend; and next door lived Ed and Sarah. The circle was completed by the house of another adult neighbor who did not appear much.
On his way, Double D was trying to imagine what kind of problem Ed found himself in. Did he lose his demon shaped action figure? Did he run out of cereal? Was he grounded again? Is he being attacked by May again? Well, he sounded worried, so maybe this time it was none of this. Maybe this time it's serious. 'But the May thing is serious', Double D thought. No, it shouldn't be that, surely she is with her sisters in their trailer, competing to see who reaches the highest decibels from their bed.
He knocked the door and waited. After a few seconds the door was open. Ed was still in pajamas, or what he called pajamas: a sleeveless undershirt that was once white, with more holes that a cheese; and his underwear.
'At least he's not grounded.'
"Well?" Double D said when he saw Ed's look of terror. "What's wrong, Ed?"
"I can't find my brand new 9 mm water gun!"
That's why Ed is special. His ability to surprise with something new was incredible. When you thought you had already seen everything about him, wham! He pulls an unexpected ace up his sleeve and shoots you down. Double D's face right now proved it. Ed was too desperate to notice his friend's dark circles.
Double D was ready to release a lot of carefully moderate complaints from his mouth, when he heard someone else...
"Sockhead! Monobrow! Why are you just standing there?! Those cards ain't going to be made themselves! C'mon, let's go!" exclaimed his other best friend, Eddy. Like Double D, he was already dressed for the day, with his classic yellow T-shirt and light blue jeans.
Eddy appeared to be the classic evil, greedy and ambitious dwarf from the movies, but Ed and Double D knew that was not the case. Behind all that greed was a good heart.
Double D had completely forgotten that they had been planning another scam with Eddy the night before. He had accepted with pleasure, especially since this time it was not a scam, but rather they were fake credentials, where one could choose any title and pretend to be a professional. 'It's pretty harmless,' Double D thought, 'compared to other outrageous scams we did.' He didn't have much time to think about it though; his experiment occupied his entire concentration at that time. He had already promised to help him with his new business, so now he could not refuse.
"Good heavens, Eddy, I completely forgot." the Sockhead replied, a little annoyed at having to postpone his rest. "Ed, when we're done, I'll help you find your gun, okay?"
"No problem, Double D." Ed replied, already more carefree.
It was 11 a.m. and the Eds were ready to start their commercial activity. Ed had taken it upon himself to set up the stand with several pieces of wood and nails taken from the junkyard, where they always get everything. For his part, Double D had made the credentials: he cut them out of cardboard boxes from the same junkyard. Then, he wrote several titles on the cards: graduate, doctor, engineer, etc. And Eddy 'supervised.'
"Step right up! C'mon!" Eddy chanted, standing at the stand table, a credential in hand. "Ain't you tired of traversing the endless academic path? No more! You can forget about spending 5 long and boring years in college and earning your professional degree once and for all, only for a quarter!"
'Undoubtedly,' Double D thought as he yawned. 'In a few years he'll be a great salesman.'
However, the pleasant morning silence returned to the streets once Eddy finished his announcement.
"What's going on?" wondered Eddy. He had planned the best way to advertise to his new business, to make it appear as trustworthy as possible, and all so in the no one to give a darn. Or maybe it's just too early.
'C'mon guys, you've bought worse things.'
In the alley there were only, in addition to the three of them, a young man with blue hair, better known as Rolf, entering his house with a bag of vegetables, or so Double D noticed. Then...
A wild Sarah has appeared! Ed's irritating and acidic younger sister was approaching the Edwards' trio. Her intentions could not be good: smoke was coming out from her ears.