The boy sat there calmly, eyes closed as he used his pencil to tap to the beat to the song playing on his radio. It was the Charmant Sisters, a lovely new singing group that was just discovered. His head moved in the motion of the beat:
"Doo Wop... Doo Wop," the sisters said all together. "Where is my lovely love, I wonder... Doo Wop... Doo Wop..." A lovely drum solo came in when the radio suddenly clicked off.
The boy opened his eyes and saw his mother hovering above him. She was wearing a frown and some loose clothing that hardly compared to her usual attire; a traditional blue captain's suit. But she wasn't at work now, no, she was at her other job. About ten years ago she was assigned a new position, a position that would change her life forever: motherhood.
She stared at the boy, one hand on her hip and the other holding up a basket of some type. He looked at her innocently, then took a glance at the blank paper below him.
"I know what you're thinking," he said once he heard the disappointing sigh that came out of the mouth of the feline he called mother. He looked up at her again, "I was only taking a break. Don't worry, I'm doing it..."
"From what I see, you haven't even started yet," she replied, tapping one of her long nails on the blank paper. "Get to work, Sunny. You had all weekend to do it - your sisters did the assignment on Friday - and you blew your whole weekend on foolish games. I thought we agreed schoolwork came first."
"It's a lame assignment anyway, Mom!"
"It's not what you refer to as "lame", Sunny. It's a History assignment given to you on Friday," his mother spoke sternly, walking around the room and putting the clothes that lay all around the floor into the basket. "It is now Sunday evening. Get it done!" She walked to the door after the floor became spotless. "And no radio!" she added quickly, then slamming the door shut behind her.
With a long sigh, Sunny positioned himself in front of the blank paper, held his pencil the correct way, and began writing:
"My - Family - Tree - By - Sunny - Doppler -" he said while writing it. "Oh this is so stupid!"
My Family Tree
By Sunny Doppler
This thing all begins with my Grandfather Cornelius -
"No, that's not it!" he said as he crumpled up the paper and got out a new one. "My - Family - Tree - By - Sunny - Doppler," he began again:
My Family Tree
By Sunny Doppler
My story begins with my grandfather, Cornelius Abraham Doppler. I never met him, but from the photos I've seen of him he was a very large man. He was also very rich, earning his first million when he was only twenty-five. He inherited his father's oil company at a young age. He wanted my dad to take over for him, but he was more interested in Astronomy, plus he died before my father was of age to legally take over it, so it was handed over to my Great Uncle Quincy Doppler, who did a great job with it. Cornelius met my Grandmother, Tabitha Wills, one summer in some vacation site - I really don't know all the details, I tend to block out all the romantic junk in my family - Together they had a total of eight, yes you read that right, eight children: Dana, Delbert, Delaney, and Donna were the first to come and Daisy, Douglas, Dolly, and Dudley were the second batch:
Dana Beatrice Doppler, the first to come out, became pretty successful. I think she's a lawyer down at some firm or something like that. All I know is she makes a lot of money - or at least enough to send her stepson, Gordy, to a Private School outside the planet. She married this man, and I mean an actual man, a couple of months ago. He's okay, his son though is a total snob!
Then my father, Delbert Benjamin Doppler. He grew up as the man of the house, kind of. After his dad died when he was only fourteen, he took a job as a paper boy; I don't know why, his dad left him all the money in the world. When I asked him this he told me he wanted to prove he could make it on his own, without his father's money. He ended up as an Astronomer, met my mother, and had my sisters and I.
Next was Delaney Belle Doppler. A very kind and gentle woman. Funny story with her is that she actually married my Uncle Victor (a feline) on my mom's side. They actually met at my parents' wedding and married the following year. And an even funnier story is they had three girls and one boy, just like us. Except ours was Feline(girl), Feline(girl), Feline(girl), Canid(boy) - Theirs was Feline(boy), Feline(girl), Canid(girl), Feline(girl). It's pretty weird.
The last of the first group would be my Aunt Donna Bertha Doppler; she lives on a small planet with her, get this, twelve kids and husband. And you thought eight was a lot, I know! We don't see them a lot, I don't even think I know all of their names, but they call every one in a while to see how we're doing, send gifts on birthdays and Christmas. I think my dad said they live on a farm, with all those kids it makes sense.
Then the first born from the second batch would be my Aunt Daisy; she was married for a while but I think they got a divorce, my mother tells me and my sisters not to mention his name (Frank) whenever she comes and visits. She doesn't have any kids - thought, I did overhear her talking to my mother about adopting - and she works as an Associate Vice President of some company.
Then my Uncle Douglas Bruce Doppler, a war hero. He's the coolest! He's getting married next summer and I'll be the ring boy that carries out the rings. I think Uncle Doug's wife is named, Susan or Samantha... something like that... This is his first marriage, he hasn't had the time for a relationship for the past four years, being in the army and all. I'm glad he's finally ready to settle down.
Then there's Dolly Bessie Doppler, an aspiring actress. Her story is she grew up performing in front of the stage and hasn't been anywhere else since. She's never been married, I don't think she wants to be married, and she's never had children, I don't think she wants children either.
The last of all of them is Dudley Bernard Doppler and, to be completely honest with you, I thought he was dead up until this discussion of this assignment came up in my household. No one talks about him, he never visits, and I don't even think he showed up at my parents' wedding, I don't know if he was invited. He was the "wild child" of the children and, I guess, never grew out of it.
My Grandfather Alexander Smollet, a great hero of his time as captain of his own ship, he was even friends (and some enemies) with some of Captain Flint's old crew members. It's great when he's telling old stories about his young days at Academy or the adventures he went on with his crew. He met my Grandmother, Elaine Greene, while visiting some planet - again, not real big on the romance thing. They had a total of four children: Vincent, William, Amelia, and Elizabeth:
You know my Uncle Vincent's story already; marrying my Aunt Delaney and having the kids. He also an army man. They're always moving around because of his work and all. He's nice, but very strict.
William Tiberius Smollet is a very quiet man. His hair his to his shoulders and he wears baggy clothing and flip-flops. My mom says he's an ex-hippie, who still believes in the things the hippie's believed in. He doesn't have a family and insists we call him "Azubuike," he told us what it means but I forgot.
My mother Amelia was the third born; her story is an easy one, followed her father's footsteps and became a captain of her own ship, meeting my father along the way, having us, mambo jumbo like that.
Then there's my Aunt Elizabeth, the last to be born. She married right after school and became a house mom to her four boys: John, James, Jeffrey, and Jonas; all tough jerks, of course. Every time they come here they always pick on me. They think just because they're tough teenagers doesn't give them the right to pick on me. Let's just say, I'm not very happy when Christmas comes along.
And that's my family tree... Kind of big and I don't know a lot of my cousins, but they're all cool in their own way, I guess.
"Sunny, dinner is ready," he heard his mother yell. "Have you finished?"
"Yeah!" he called out, looking at his paper. "Just one second!"
He looked down at his paper and smiled:
At first I didn't understand why you gave us this assignment, he wrote, but as I wrote it I began to realize that you gave it to us because it's important to know where we've come from so we can pass it on to future generations and make the universe a better place to live in.
"I thought you said you were finished, Sunny," his mother said from the doorway.
"I am," he said, getting up from his seat and walking to his mother. "I wrote some sensitive stuff at the end that will definitely give me an A or at least a B+," he claimed as they walked down stairs with his mother. "It all depends on my teacher's mood is that day."