8

It was thirty minutes later, but it felt more like an hour. Confused and tired, Jason Braddock sat on the dusty sofa in the Munster's living room reading a magazine as he glanced up and looked at Grandpa. The old man grinned at him as he grinned back as the situation became somewhat tedious. Waiting for Marilyn to come up from the lab, Jason looked over to her Uncle Herman nonchalantly reading the paper with a bit of nervous and tired tension. In the other chair, Lily sat knitting long strands of cobwebs into a sweater.

"So, Jason," Sitting in the other chair, Lily looked up from her knitting. "How do you like our Marilyn? Think she's... worthy enough to marry?"

"What?" He wasn't ready for that question.

"Lily..." Herman reacted to that query. "Isn't it a bit early to be trying to force Marilyn and Jason into matrimony?" He mugged briefly think it would be nice to see his niece married.

"Better early than never..." Grandpa responded. "You know, young man, many a man was made happier by getting married..."

"Married?" Jason mused a bit. "Sure, I mean, I think she's going to make someone a great wife. She's one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met."

"Oh," Grandpa glanced to Lily and Herman and made a face at that response. They had never quite used that word to describe Marilyn. "I guess it takes all kinds." He looked back to Jason and leaned over to him. "How well can you see me?" He waved his hand.

"Grandpa!" Lily called to her father. Sometimes, she felt she had to be the parent and voice of reason in the family.

"No, he's right, Lily." Herman looked to his wife. "I accidentally smacked and broke Jason's glasses when he came in. Sorry about that..." He looked to Lily and back. "I didn't see them when you came to pick up Marilyn."

"Well, I wasn't wearing them then..." The twenty-two year old college student looked up with two squinting brown eyes. "You see, I was bit nervous going out with Marilyn for the first time, and I thought..." He paused again getting his thoughts together. "I thought if I didn't wear them it would take some of the anxiety off me."

"Jason..." Marilyn made the top step out from the stairs to her grandfather's lab. Lightly adjusting her hair, she looked down to her feet, over to her beaming grandfather then to her anxious aunt and uncle with Eddie lurking behind them in the archway to the foyer then back to Jason. "We've been friends since we've been kids. We use to run through the neighborhood together."

"Were you that little criminal that would knock at our door and run away?" Lily asked.

"That was Derek Taylor..." Marilyn and Jason echoed together. With that moment, Lily silently gestured to both Herman and her father to leave the two young people alone with each other. Eddie pouted a bit to be shooed away, but as he headed up stairs to his room, he looked back to see his parents and grandpa eavesdropping from just out of sight of the foyer. They were really eager to see Marilyn off and married.

"Jason..." Marilyn had gestured Jason over to the sofa. "Why would you be nervous to be with me?"

"Shellshock, I guess." Her classmate confessed. "Marilyn, I've been shot down by so many girls..." He looked to her and remembered back to when they used to block the creek and flood the neighborhood or stay out after dark looking for ghosts at the old cemetery. She was cute then; who knew she'd blossom into a young Marilyn Monroe? "I just want to apologize if I came on strong. I would never have done anything to make you run away like that."

"My running away had nothing to do with you." Marilyn looked for a way to explain away her predicament. "Let's just say I had an allergy attack." She looked up to the three bobbing heads that disappeared back into the foyer. "To tell the truth, this was the nicest date I've had in months. Most of my dates don't even seem to get past meeting my family."

"Well, from what I saw of them," Jason jostled his glasses with the one cracked lens and the missing lens in his shirt pocket as Marilyn grinned. "I think your family is pretty great. They took care of you, didn't they?"

"They did... But how are you going to get home without your glasses?" She sighed with a note of lament. "You can't drive like that."

"I can walk it." Jason thought it over. "It's just seven to eight blocks to the other side of town."

"I've got a better idea." Marilyn looked to the bobbing heads in the foyer. "Uncle Herman, you can drive Jason home, can't you?"

"Well, of course, I can!" Herman's loud laughing voice echoed the house again. "Jason," He entered the room and patted the college student on the back. "I have to say you're the nicest boy Marilyn has brought home." He paused and leaned in further. "Some of them don't even make it past the gate." When he leaned in, Jason saw Marilyn's uncle much closer. That green complexion, flat head, lightening-shaped scar down over his forehead... It was like something he'd seen in a Vincent Price movie.

"My eyesight couldn't possibly be that bad..." He mumbled trying to rationalize it.

"Why drive him at all?" Grandpa spoke up ambling over to Marilyn's side. "I could fix his stigmatism in five seconds. All I need are three carrots from Merlin's garden, five Cyclops eyelashes, dust from the laboratory of Dr. Heinreich von Seidenbaum, the greatest eyeglass grinder of all of Transylvania..."

"Grandpa..." Marilyn shined and pulled her grandfather back. "I love you, but I think Jason will take a pass..."

END