Simon begins celebrating his jubilee by devising a fun game in which he will relive parts of his past starting from the time he was a child.
After spinning his game to his late teens, he grins when he becomes aware that while reliving parts of his past, his game had been manipulated several times in an amusing way by a wonderful vampire.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.74(d)|
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Simon's Jubilee Game
By JOHN A. REID
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2013 John A. Reid
All rights reserved.
Lynn and her two sons hadn't spoken for over two minutes as they waited for Harold to stop reading something else in the previous day's newspaper before they could start eating breakfast.
Harold closed the newspaper, folded it, and then instead of placing it on the dining room table, he threw it across the room as his wife, Lynn, frowned. He then leaned forward in his chair, put his elbows on the table, and after resting his chin on his folded hands, he stared across the table at his youngest son, Gary.
"Ken told me you stole some coins from his coin collection, and that you spent them," said Harold.
"That's a lie!" Gary shouted at his elder brother.
"You did so!" exclaimed Ken.
"Shut up! Both of you! Go to your room, Gary."
"Yes, dad," he said while getting up from the table, and then he left the dining room.
"Harold, please don't get upset," said Lynn. "I know that Gary doesn't lie, and I know he'd never steal. Maybe Ken put his coins in another drawer, and now he forgets he did that."
"If Ken said Gary stole the coins, then I believe him. Are you calling my eldest son a liar?" Harold asked his wife.
"No, I said he might've misplaced some of his coins."
"How could I do that?" asked Ken. "I keep them all in a jar at the back of my top dresser drawer and Gary's the only one besides you and dad who know that."
"Why don't you count them again? Maybe you ..."
"Shut up, Lynn! He told you that Gary stole them, and that's good enough for me!" shouted Harold, getting up from the table.
"Where are you going?" she asked him.
"To teach your son not to steal."
"Kick the heck out of him, dad."
"Harold! Please don't! Have your breakfast while I look for the coins. They could've fallen inside the drawer."
"Yeah, right," said Harold, walking away.
* * *
Gary had walked into the bedroom he shared with his elder brother, and then he'd lain face down on the bed to wait for his father to come upstairs to discipline him.
He hadn't stolen his brother's coins, but Ken always accused him of doing something bad almost every other day. Gary had never been able to understand why his father disliked him, and yet he favored Ken to the point of adulation.
Ken had never been liked by any of the boys in school because he was mean and a tattletale, and Gary felt sure that Ken was as ugly on the inside as he was on the outside.
When he heard his father coming upstairs, Gary stopped thinking about Ken and quickly sat up on his bed while worrying that his father was going to beat him. His heart leapt when the door burst open and slammed against the wall, then a moment later, Gary heard his mother's voice.
"Before you strike him, strike me," said Lynn.
"This is between father and son! The boy's constantly in trouble, and talking to him obviously hasn't worked! Now get the hell out of here!"
"Please punish me, instead, because it's my fault for not adequately teaching him right from wrong."
"How dare you interfere with the way I raise my sons?"
"But you can't prove there are coins missing from Ken's collection, so, you don't have the right to punish Gary. I respect your superior intelligence, and I know I'm merely a woman, but I'm also a mother, and as such, I have a duty to protect my children. I know I deserve to be slapped hard by you when I've made a mistake, but Gary's just a small child. Please, Harold, think of the damage you could do to him while you're so angry."
"If you ever interfere again, I'll do more than slap you! I'll beat you black and blue!" Harold exclaimed as he glared at her.
"Oh, I know that, dear, and I'd deserve it, but you know this is the first time I've overstepped my position as your inferior, and I only did it to protect our son. I fully agree with your method of discipline, but not until he's another year older. Please."
"Fine. You hear that, Gary? Your mother said I can discipline you my way in another year! And by God I'll make sure you never get into trouble again! Is that understood?"
"Your father's very angry with you, Gary. He's the master of this house, and I want you to remember that. You must respect everything he tells you. I want you to pay close attention to the way I respect your father, and the way he beats me or slaps my face very hard when I've been stupid enough to do something wrong. If he makes me cry, then just think of how much more you'll cry when you misbehave badly and he has to beat you. Well, Gary? Do you understand everything I've just told you? And will you pay close attention to the way he disciplines me?"
"I will, mom."
"You'd better!" shouted Harold.
"Oh, thank you for sparing our son, dear. I'm so sorry that this incident has disturbed you, and I promise I'll search this house from top to bottom for those coins. If I can't find them, I'll do my very best to try soothing dear Ken by buying him a new shirt that he can choose, as well as a big sundae and a milkshake whenever he wants," said Lynn, forcing a smile.
"Well, that's the least you can do to make him feel better, but Gary's not to have any treats. Is that understood?"
"Yes, of course, dear. No treats for Gary. Not until we solve the mystery of Ken's missing coins. If we can't find them, then I'll buy Ken five more coins from the numismatist."
"From the new Miss who?" asked Harold.
"That's the man who owns that old coin shop on Lohman Street, dear. That's what they call people who study coins from all over the world."
"Oh, yes. I knew that, but it'd slipped my mind," he lied.
"Of course it did, dear, but that's because you always have so much on your mind. It's such a burden to be a man and have so many decisions to make, such as who to invite to dinner and to business lunches, too, of course. You're out there meeting very important people, and you have to be on your best behavior at all times when you're having lunch with them at the club, and well, just being polite at the office all day, every day. I'm so thankful you don't have to work on top of all that, dear. Men have so much to think about, and more women should appreciate that, so, I know how dif cult it is for you to come home and then have to face a family problem."
"Hmmm, yes, you're right, and some people in this house should realize that, especially the boy I'm looking at right now. It's about time Gary learned how to behave, instead of stealing and lying all the time, so, he's not to get any weekly allowance, either. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Harold, dear," she replied.
"I hope you do understand because if I find out that you're giving Gary even one penny of allowance this week, then I'll beat you senseless. I'm holding you completely responsible for anything else Gary does wrong. Is that understood?"
"Yes, dear," replied Lynn. "It's completely understood. Thank you for your great patience and generosity."
"If you don't want me to slap your mother around, then stay out of trouble. Is that understood?"
"Yes, dad. I promise."
"Yeah, well, we'll see about that," said Harold.
"Now go have your breakfast, dear, and we'll be downstairs right after I make sure that Gary knows you meant every word you said to him."
Harold swore as he left the room, then after he slammed the door shut, Lynn leaned back against it, crossed her arms, and scowled as she said: "To make your father feel pleased, I'll take Ken for a sundae and a milkshake after school, but you won't be coming with us. Is that understood?"
"Good. I'll give you some money to have a sundae and a milkshake somewhere else with your friends. But don't you dare tell Ken. Is that understood?"
"Yes, mom," replied Gary, trying not to giggle.
"I know you didn't steal any coins, and that you never, ever would. Is that understood?"
"And I know that you'd never lie or do anything bad. Is that understood?"
"Good! Now look very sad when you come back downstairs, and while you're having breakfast, and then after your father leaves for work, and Ken leaves for school, you can be your old smiley self again when you leave for school a few minutes after him. Is that understood?"
"Yes, mom," he said as he smiled.
"Now pretend you're so sad, and then we'll go back downstairs. Okay?"
"Okay. I will," said Gary, then he frowned and pouted before saying: "Do I look sad now?"
"Yes, you sure do. Now let's go downstairs and you keep trying to look sad."
"I can do that. Mom? I love you."
"And I love you, sweetheart."
* * *
Late that evening, Lynn sat at her dressing table, then she pulled off her wig, and ruffled her very short, dark brown hair. A month after they'd married, Harold had told her that he preferred blondes, and he'd demanded that she bleach her hair. Lynn had realized that she had to obey her husband's demands or else he'd become very angry.
After bleaching her hair once a month for three months, her scalp had become rather dry and sore, therefore, she'd bought a blonde wig, and then cut off almost all of her own hair. She'd then spent many hours developing the best way to apply a paste of talcum powder tinted the same color as her skin to cover her dark eyebrows.
After the paste dried, she would carefully color her stiffened eyebrows with a light brown crayon, hence, everyone she and Harold had met since the time they'd married and moved to this part of the country, thought that Lynn was a natural blonde.
To add to that illusion, Harold had bought her big eyeglasses with tortoise shell frames that hid her supposedly pale brown eyebrows. Lynn felt thankful that Harold had bought nonprescription glasses because she had worried that prescription glasses would cause her to suffer constant eyestrain.
Harold was jealous of any man looking at her, therefore, he'd insisted that she never wear any makeup other than what was necessary to lighten her eyebrows, but he was greatly annoyed because Lynn was still a very lovely woman without makeup.
In an attempt to soothe her husband's insecurity about her facial features, as well as her beautiful figure, Lynn had begun wearing loose-fitting, conservative clothing, although she'd never been able to understand why Harold felt so insecure because she would never think of cheating on him.
Her adoptive father had been a close friend of Harold's father, and she'd married at sixteen years old to appease her father whom had felt that Harold would be an excellent husband for her because he had a good position in his father's company. Lynn had often wondered if she would've been forced into marrying Harold had she not been adopted.
Harold's dislike for his youngest son had started when Gary had been a toddler, but he'd adored his firstborn son from the moment Ken had been born.
He felt pleased that Ken resembled him, and had Harold's small eyes, equine nose, and thin, wide lips, as well as a rather small chin. Harold had always been obese, just like all members of his family, and Ken seemed to have inherited the same genetic trait as the rest of the Creighton family.
Gary, however, had taken after his mother's side of the family. Lynn's male relatives were admired for their rather handsome facial features, and by the time Gary was four years old, Lynn had realized that he'd be much more handsome than any of the males she'd seen in her real family.
She had spent several years searching for her real family, but after finding them, Lynn had felt disheartened when they ignored her. She didn't care that her real family refused to accept or acknowledge her, because she had more important concerns, which were mostly regarding Harold.
She hadn't known when she'd married him that he was quite jealous and possessive with a bad temper, nor had she known that he'd take out his rage by physically abusing her on occasion. Lynn knew that Harold would eventually start beating Gary so hard that he'd end up in hospital.
Gary was now eight years old, and already taller and stronger than Ken whom was three years his senior, and one of the reasons for the difference in their physical structures was that Gary had always loved participating in every sport he took an interest in.
Ken had always been moody, cruel, and a snide troublemaker, therefore, he only had one friend whom had similar personality traits, whereas Gary had always been quite popular, with many friends. Ken had never fared well in school, and because Gary was a brilliant student, it gave Harold more reason to dislike him.
Every other weekend, Harold would take Ken camping in a forest, far from the city, and they'd hunt and fish together, while Gary was left at home.
Lynn had often pleaded with her husband to take Gary with him on those camping trips, but Harold had always refused. She now planned to make certain that Harold would again refuse to take Gary with him on the next camping trip.
* * *
She smiled slightly at Harold as she entered the bedroom, and began walking to the bed, then she stopped, pressed her hands against her stomach, bent over and groaned loudly, and then after leaning slowly back up, she frowned while uttering: "Uhnnn! Uhhhhh-huh. Ohhhh, God."
"Damn it! You're having your period again!"
"I ... ohhhhhh ... I'm ... Yes. Mmnnff!"
"I'm not listening to your moaning and groaning all God damned night! I'm sleeping in the guest room!"
"I'm so sorry, dear. I just ... Uh! Unff!" Lynn groaned loudly.
"One of these days, I'll make Gary groan even louder than you! He's a thief and a liar!"
"I was so ... So sure he hadn't done it. Maybe if you'd be nicer to him. Ohhhnff! I ... I don't think my menstrual cramps have ever been this strong. I think that if ... If you took him camping with you, Gary would ... Ohh, that last cramp felt like a knife going through me. You've got Friday and ... Ohhh, the pain. And Monday off, too. Four whole days, so, if Gary would ... Unff! Sorry, the cramps are ... Unnf! Gary would love to go camping with you for the next four days," said Lynn, frowning as she gasped and moaned.
"He's not coming with us this time, either, because I'm not going to waste my time trying to teach him how to sh or anything else, and that's that."
"But Gary tries so ... Ohhhh! That cramp was even worse than the others. He tries so hard to please you. He ... He's even helping me ... Hnnnff! Helping me do housework. I appreciate even a bit of help because I do all the shopping. All ... All the budgeting. And writing cheques for everything we need, too. I ... I ... Ohhh, these cramps hurt so much. Hmmnnff! I really appreciate Gary's help. If I'm always doing so many things for you, it would be so nice if you'd do just one thing for me, and that'd be to take Gary on a camping trip. But you're right, as usual. Gary would be a burden to both you and Ken if you took him camping with you. He'd want to climb trees, and run through the woods, and swim, and all sorts of things like that, but you and Ken would find that annoying while you two are sitting somewhere, shing. Ohhh! Hmmmffff! That cramp almost made me faint. But maybe if you did take Gary camping with you sometime, he might learn to sit quietly and fish with you and Ken. You could think about taking him with you in the morning. Gary would like that."
"Damn it! I've already told you that I won't ever take him camping with me, so, stop nagging, you idiot!"
"Yes, dear. Sorry, dear. It's just that I thought you might do me this one, small favor because to please you, I take on so many other responsibilities besides all the household duties. I do all your bookkeeping, handle all our finances, and I also do all the budgeting for your business, as well as here at home, too. I've always told you what to invest in, too. Why do other businessmen have accountants and secretaries, whereas I have to do so much for you, as well as being a wife and mother?"
"Why should I waste money?"
"Speaking of money, I do all the banking, too."
"Damn it, woman! Will you stop whining? Goodbye!"
"Harold, wait! I'm sorry, dear! I'll sleep in the guest room!"
"And hear you bitch about that for weeks? Certainly not!"
He walked out of the bedroom, slammed the door shut, then moments later, Lynn smiled as she reclined on the bed, thinking about Harold and Ken leaving early the following morning for their camping trip.
For the past seven years she'd found Harold to be quite repugnant, and she had learned ways to avoid sexual contact with him. One of those ways was to feign very painful menstrual cramps several times per month.
Excerpted from Simon's Jubilee Game by JOHN A. REID. Copyright © 2013 John A. Reid. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
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