Haven Shorts – Chapter 2 – Episode 4 – A Stranger Magic
Chapter 2 – Episode 4
The morning came in a blink of an eye. Sam was barely awake when he smelled it—it was awful. There was no other word for it. The smell was so pungent it not only woke him up from his deep sleep—it was starting to make his stomach turn too.
He jerked abruptly and his eyes opened, but instead of seeing his room as he expected, he saw nothing. There was something covering his eyes. It was white—well, kind of white, and made of a soft material. Sam reached up and grabbed the fabric from his face. He squinted as the sunlight rushed into his room like a blinding spotlight.
He hated mornings.
The room slowly came into focus as he tried to figure out what the material in his hand was. To his surprise it was a sock, but it wasn’t just any sock. It was one of his filthy, extremely smelly gym socks.
Laughter erupted from just beyond the doorway of his bedroom. Sam looked up to see Sarah. She was standing in the hallway, half-dressed for school, with a black top on and blue pajama bottoms with hearts on them. Sarah was laughing and snapping what looked to be salad tongs in her right hand. Apparently, she had not wanted to touch the sock.
snap snap snap
Sam also noticed that she was pointing her cell phone in his direction with her left hand.
Was she taking his freaking picture?
“You are such a dork!” she said, laughing. “That was absolutely brilliant! You should have seen your face when you finally got a whiff of that stench! This is sooo going on Facebook!”
Sarah’s face was red from laughter, and her voice was giddy with delight. Her long brown hair was wrapped in a loose bun that was starting to come unraveled, and her blue eyes were watering like she had been crying.
Sarah threw the salad tongs on his bed where they bounced off and landed on the floor next to a pile of clothes. Still laughing, she reached up and wiped a small tear that seeped from her eye.
“You know, freak show, I don’t think I have ever laughed that hard in my life!”
Sam blinked one eye and then another. Is this really happening? Did my sister just take a picture of me with a nasty gym sock on my face?
After a minute or so, Sarah finally pulled herself together. “Time to eat, moron, and Mom said to clean your room before you go to school.” She turned and walked down the hallway talking to herself and shaking her head.
“Man, I’m good. That was awesome!” he heard her say.
She reached the end of the hallway and stopped. She turned around slowly and looked straight back into her brother’s eyes.
Sam, who had not moved anything but his eyelids at this point, sat motionless watching the corners of Sarah’s mouth curl up ever so slightly.
Ooh no! his brain warned him. THE GRIN!
It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
The “grin”, if that’s what you wanted to call it, was like that of a sly wolf, the cat that ate the canary, or the Grinch who stole Christmas. It was the kind of grin that would have consequences. It was mischievous in every sense of the word, and whatever happened next would not be good for Sam, that much he knew. He was already visualizing the duct tape over her mouth.
“Hey, Mom,” she called out. The grin was gone, replaced with a gleaming white smile. “Sam said he’s NOT getting up OR cleaning his room!”
As if on cue, a voice from downstairs shouted out like a drill sergeant, “Samuel Rylan Dalcome, you get yourself out of that bed right now and clean your room or you will be grounded! You’re going to be late for school again!”
Sam cringed when he heard his mother’s voice. She was not happy. His eyes narrowed as they fixed on his sister.
Sarah quickly turned and began to walk down the stairs, when suddenly she stopped, turned, and walked back up. Still smiling, she looked at her younger brother and proceeded to take a bow.
When she stood, she pointed at Sam and winked. “Thank you, I’m here all week,” she said.
Sam could feel his blood begin to boil.
Any similarity between his sister and a human being had to be purely coincidental. It just had to be!
Sarah turned and casually strolled down the stairs as if she didn’t have a care in the world.
Sam sat up, threw the sock into the hallway, and looked around his room in frustration.
The room was a disaster; it looked like his closet had thrown up on his floor. There were piles of clothes in just about every corner of the room. But, to Sam’s satisfaction, the piles were all color-coordinated in lights and darks. Just in case the world ended and he was forced to do his own laundry, he was good to go.
His wooden dresser and matching desk were a complete mess. The dresser was covered with sport bottles, coffee mugs, skateboard parts, and broken PlayStation controllers, while the desk was cluttered with school books, magazines and more clothes. He was sure there was a computer under there somewhere, but he hadn’t seen it in months.
The Sony PlayStation, which sat atop a small entertainment center with a twenty-inch TV, seemed to have the least amount of clothes thrown on it.
The only thing remotely straight, or that had any kind of order whatsoever in Sam’s room, were the dragon posters on his walls. They were almost like wallpaper. Each poster was roughly the same size; every corner matched and lined up perfectly. His room looked like one large cave of dragons. A messy cave, but a cave nonetheless.
Sam loved dragons. Sarah made fun of him because she thought it was childish, but he didn’t care. It was something he had loved since he was a small child. He had pictures of dragons in all shapes, sizes, and colors. His father had been interested in dragons as a kid too; at least that’s what his mother told him, since he had never really met his father.
Sam’s father died a few months after Sam was born. His mother didn’t like to talk about it much; it made her sad. But when she did she would always say the same thing.
“Your father was the most caring man I have ever met; he was my better half, and my soul mate. The day your father died was the day I lost a part of myself, a part that I will never get back.”
Sam didn’t really know what all that meant, but it sure made her miserable when she did talk about him. His mother would always have her husband’s love, and Sam, well Sam shared his father’s fascination with dragons. It was strange, he thought, to miss someone he never even knew. But he did, and that was something he would have to learn to live with.
Sam reluctantly spun around in his bed and placed his feet on the cold, wooden floor. He needed to get moving or he would be staring at the inside of his room for the next week. Ten minutes had already passed since his mother warned him to get up. There was no way he had time to clean his room now. Sam looked around for the shorts he had on last night, but they were nowhere in sight. He must have taken them off in the middle of the night, because all he had on now were his boxers. He would need to find them; those shorts contained the only evidence of the vanishing stranger. He still could not believe what had happened. The man had actually disappeared right in front of his eyes! Sam made a mental note to keep his mouth shut and say nothing to anyone about the disappearing stranger. Not even to Travis. A person thinking you were crazy was one thing; talking as if you were crazy was something totally different.
**I will post one EPISODE each week, but there are 50 EPISODE, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just .99) the complete book and the rest of the HAVEN series (More Coming Soon) at Amazon.
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