My name is earl: Number 144
"Randy pick one" "Uh ok Earl, Number 144." Earl scanned the page "It says took a kids bike and never gave it back" "Is that the one that you poured oil over and set of fire?" "Yes it is randy." I stood there remembering my primary school days. Me and Randy like most kids always wanted a tree house of our very own. To throw water balloons at the kids next door and run away when we got grounded for playing a prank on Mr Glibber. We tried to make one on our own but it ended up no more than battered dog house. This one kid we knew, Hamish Grey was his name, had a tree house made by his father- his father was a builder. Of course my Dad wouldn't help me; he just said" a tree house is a piece of junk any way". We asked Hamish if he would let us up but would always say" members only" and point to the sign he made especially for me. Because we weren't allowed in his tree hut we thought it would be fair to take his bike. Of course he noticed it was gone and had rung the authorities. We figured that our house would be the first place they would look. Turns out we were right but by the time they had got there the bike was already in ashes. I guess now I have to pay him back for all the bike–less summers.
They got out of the old car and approached the old house that had been refurnished and made new. A man came out in a wheel chair. He had muddy brown hair and beady black eyes. He looked up at them though his blue rimmed glasses that fitted his face perfectly.
He had a sad look on his face as he saw the two, possibly remembering what they had done. "Can I help you?" He said staring at the ground. "Yes I'm Earl Hickey I went to the same primary school as you" "What do you want?" "I have written a list of all the bad things I've ever done on this piece of paper. One by one I'm making it up to the people I have hurt so I can cross them off my list. It's Karma that's why my life was so bad". "What do you need me for?" "Do you remember that bike of yours that went missing? I stole it and set it on fire." "That was you?" "Yes but I bought you a new bike but I guess you can't use it for a while" he said bleakly. "For a while try never! The man was fuming." Because of you I haven't been able to feel my legs since I was 10!" "But I only stole your bike?" Earl stated with confusion." You stole my life when you took that bike. I was never an athletic kid and could not run very fast. My bike was the only way I could escape the Satans. You know what happened to kids who didn't. There were kids who died from broken spines. I was lucky to escape with paralysis for the hips down. This is what you did to me earl no bike can fix that. I still have nightmares from that day. I can never feel my legs again" "Is there anything I can do?" "No please leave" "Randy this is going to be harder than I thought." They left the house worried that earl may not be able to ever write this off his list.
"Hey Earl why don't we be his legs you know carry him around, go to places he was never able to go to before?" "What a great idea Randy". They set of for the wheel chair guy's house with high hopes and once they arrived told him of their plan for redemption. "So you'll do anything?" "Yep anything you want" "How about you start painting my fence and tidying up my back yard". The two boys worked for hours on end dong chores for the disabled man. For a whole day they were ordered to pick up packages, paint fences, clean the house, take out the trash and cook meals which they could not eat themselves. It was torture but they still pressed on because they knew they had to get number 144 crossed off the list. There always seemed to be things to do. They were doing heavy labour while the man just sat back watching TV and didn't seem to notice them at all.
After a long days work they were finally finished. Which was just as well since Both Randy and Earl were exhausted. The golden sun beaded heavily on their bodies and they sat down for a minute to catch their breath. "That was hard work how long are we going to be doing this earl?" "Don't worry randy I'm sure he will forgive us now. Earl approached the man that he had been slaving for. "I guess I can cross you off my list now right?" "What do you mean cross me off your list? You think one day of work is enough to repair one life time of paralysis? You will have to a lot more than that! Come around tomorrow at seven sharp and we will see about crossing me off that list of yours!" He shouted as he slammed the door shut. "Aww man! Randy uttered. Do you think he's ever going to forgive you? Because I don't think I can take much more of this." "Let's hope so randy". They returned home unvictorious and worn out. Wanting to give up.
Beep, beep, Beep, beep. Earl glanced at the alarm and turned it onto snooze. "Its six am. Time to get up Randy". "Aw why can't we come in later?" "Mr Grey said to be there by seven Randy". "Ok" he said getting out of bed reluctantly.
"We're here what do you need?" The house looked a hundred times better since Earl and randy had spruced it up but still he demanded more work to be done.
"Its about time did you know that you are one minute late! Never mind I have lots of things for you to do. I need you to pick up my dry cleaning, fix up my roof, put up my satellite, pick up some parcels, paint the walls, make some shelves and the list went on and on. It seemed like they had been there for an eternity and not once had he said thank you. At the end of the day Earl had once more asked if he could cross the man off his list but was denied. "I'm still not sure I can forgive you, come back tomorrow".
Again they had the door slammed in their faces. "What an ass" Randy cursed at the man. "I did ruin his life Randy I owe him." "Cant you just leave this one for later? My back is killing me. If I have to work for him one more time I'll shoot him". "Randy we can't stop now" "Face it Earl he'll never forgive you. He just wants us to do more work for him." "He needs us Randy look how miserable he is" They looked over through the window to see him laughing on the phone. "Doesn't look miserable to me, just cross him off our list", randy demanded as he reached for the list. "No" Earl replied as he pulls the yellow paper in which he wrote all his bad deeds away from Randy.
As they are struggling they hear the man talking on the phone saying: "Yeah I tricked them real good. They think I'm some guy that's life got ruined because they stole my bike when I was a kid. The best part is I've got them doing all sorts of stuff for me and I don't have to lift a finger. Yeah I've never met them before. They come up to my door step asking for forgiveness so they can cross me off their list of things they did wrong. So I say no just because I felt like being mean and they come back saying they will do anything I want. I just made up a story about how they ruined my life saying if my bike wasn't stolen I wouldn't be paralysed. Yeah this was way easier than coning people out of their life savings."
At that moment I realised that I had been conned and all the hard work I had done was for a man I didn't know. Number 144 would have to stay on the list. Randy was still angry he had to do all that work for nothing. I felt bad that Hamish grey was still out there and has never gotten his bike back. We decided to find him and expose the conn artist that used us.