“Cut that out!” I yelled frantically. As always, he paid absolutely no attention to what I said. That didn’t surprise me. He acted as if though I wasn’t even there. Now his tail was starting to tighten around my neck. Obviously, with my oxygen supply compromised, I started choking.
“Larry! Let go of me!”
And well, he just went on the same way he was. Running like a madman down the heavily-commuted street with just everyone watching. We made a sharp turn at the intersection, and since I was pretty much flying attached to his tail, I went swinging towards the right.
I nearly struck a pedestrian…only to crash my face right into a silver fire hydrant.
Now let me say this: IT WAS NOT FUNNY. You try running at full speed and smash your head against a fire hydrant. Believe me, that’s no fun stuff. It felt like some had struck me in the face with a metal baseball bat.
And yes, I have had the unfriendly privilege of having being struck with that also.
Of course, Larry did not know or care about the fact that he had caused a possibly fracture of my nose, mouth, or cranium and just kept running. When we reached the entrance of Arnold’s I was afraid that I might have the same experience with the walls or maybe the parking lot signs.
Oh, no. Larry was much more creative than that. Instead, he threw me through the doors and you can guess the results, right? Well, I have no idea what got into Larry. I did not provoke him nor did I give him any good reason to act the way he did.
We had just come out of a Cabinet Meeting. We’d had quite a bit of action at the borders. On the northeastern side of Amarkia, our Border Patrol Guards had a little scuffle with some people affiliated with ISIS.
The same thing happened on our Western Gate. Instead that it was with Boko Haram. But with both cases, our level of domestic security was questioned and I’d been forced to hold a press conference a few days ago.
Afterwards, I’d started receiving threatening messages. Just a lot of nonsense about “Allah will rain fire on you,” and things like that.
But just to show you how dangerous my job is, let me tell you what happened yesterday. Boy, was that a lot of excitement! Larry ran into my room screaming at the top of his lungs and the security alarms were blazing.
“What is it? What’s going on?”
“Get in the bunker!”
“Why? What’s happening?”
“Just get in the bunker, you idiot! Get in the bunker!!”
I didn’t hesitate for a minute. I jumped out of my bed, not bothering to put my slippers on. I zipped down the hallway to the nearest Bunker Entrance. There are several of those throughout the Palace. They’re in almost all the room. In case of an emergency, you simply slide down a narrow tube and it leads right into the Bunker.
I’ve described the Bunker before so I see no need to describe it again.
Anyways, I ran down the hallway and saw a blur running in the opposite direction. “Larry!”
“The Bunker’s this way, you dope!”
“Oh. Yeah, I knew that.” Then, as usual, he ran over me, knocking me to the ground and leaving nothing but a cloud of smoke behind. I was tempted to try to catch him and give him a beating. But not with my life in grave peril.
I finally reached down to the Bunker just as Larry was shutting the door. The rest of the family was already there. We sat against the wall while the guards grabbed their submachine guns and shields and stepped outside to check the area.
“What’s going on?” Kathy asked confused.
“I thought Larry said it was a drill,” Greeny said.
I wasn’t sure myself, and I certainly didn’t want to lie to my little brother. But I didn’t want to upset anyone so I just blurted out, “Yeah, that’s right! It’s a drill. It’s our monthly drill! Right, Larry?”
His swiveled over to mine and both his eyebrows jumped. “Oh, uh, yeah. That’s right! Just a drill.”
I felt guilty, lying to Greeny, but I didn’t want to frighten him. Pondering on that same thought, I heard Larry’s voice inside my head say It’s far from being a drill.
Answering with Telepathy, I said, So what is going on?
An armed man was seen walking suspiciously around the Palace.
The thought of a terrorist or some other crackpot walking around the Palace or anywhere else in Amarkia was enough to accelerate my pulse and make my stomach go queasy. I was afraid to ask anything else so I didn’t.
I’m not kidding when I say that my fear turned to boredom in that bunker. Time went by so slowly. We didn’t have windows or any indication of time so we couldn’t tell what time it was. About after an hour or so, I started getting just irritated of sitting down, doing nothing, staring at nothing, and hearing nothing but our breathing.
And our stomachs. We hadn’t had any time to have breakfast.
Larry must’ve either thought the same thing or he was reading my mind. He stood, not letting go of the M17 rifle he had and disappeared into another section of the bunker. When he came back, he returned with some French toast and bacon for everyone. He even brought orange juice and milk.
After our improvised meal, we spent who knows how many hours waiting for the “All Clear” signal. To spend the time we played Monopoly, UNO, Chess, Checkers, and even Twister. Yes, we were that bored.
When Larry finally said that it was safe to come out, I noticed that it was substantially darker. I’d gotten down to the Bunker in such a rush that I didn’t even get my watch. So like I said, I had no idea of knowing what time it was.
I went up back to my room, and the alarm clock next to the bed said 4:15 pm. Holy cats! We’d been in the bunker for nine hours! Believe me; even if it guarantees your safety, being in a windowless, underground bunker for nine hours is no fun at all. Just try it sometime.
Later we found out that the man had been caught and arrested under the charges of attempted murder, suspicious activity, conspiracy, and possible ties to terroristic organizations.
I was there personally and he didn’t answer a single question. Who do you work for? Why were you carrying a walkie-talkie? With whom were you speaking with? Why were you wandering around Royal Grounds without a permit? He didn’t say anything. All he said was that, “King Spiny will be judged.”
All we knew is that those border attacks occurred because ISIS and Boko Haram were furious that we hadn’t agreed to their “negotiations.” They just wanted their teachings to be taught freely in Amarkia.
Obviously my response was “Ha! Over my dead body!”
I mean, please! They must be crazy to think that. But then again, they are terrorists. The next morning Larry and I came out completely exhausted out of a last-minute meeting with the Royal Assembly and High Congress directors and just needed a break.
We hadn’t been to Arnold’s in quite a while because it was undergoing remodeling. The outside remained pretty much the same, but on the inside they changed it quite a bit. It used to look like classic 1950’s American restaurant. Now it had a 1960s look. And they also added a bunch of things to the menu.
Before the remodeling, they concentrated on just burgers and fries and that stuff. Now, they also announced they would be selling frozen yogurts, homemade ice cream, hot dogs, chili, nachos, ice cream sodas, and lots of new things.
And that’s when Larry suddenly got crazy and started dragging me by the neck like a water skier.
And it’s no fun when you’ve just smashed your face into a fire hydrant and top speed then go flying through the doors of a restaurant and land with a loud crash on a table.
My vision got blurry and my head felt like my skull had just gotten too small for my brain. I shook my head, trying to get the vapors out of it to see if I could see well. A crowd of people, mostly teens had gathered around me. Obviously, they didn’t expect for me to come flying in and crash headfirst on a table. A new table, by the way.
Several girls came out and helped me up. “I’m okay. Don’t worry, people! It’s fine. Just a little incident. I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?” said one of the girls. She was still holding my arm. I noticed she had brilliant blue eyes and light brown hair. My heart started lurching and I felt my face getting hot.
“Ahem! Yeah, I’m fine. Don’t worry.” She smiled and left. Phew! Now don’t get me wrong. I’m loyal to my girlfriend but I’m not blind. When you’re in my position, you have to get used to being around a lot of pretty girls.
Everyone returned to their seats and their booths as Larry came walking in casually as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. Yet everyone stared at him, already knowing what happened. I didn’t need any pity from anyone, but I was glad that they were aware of the facts.
Larry slid in in front of me, grabbing the shiny new menu. “Spiny, you really have to learn to control yourself. You could’ve gotten hurt.”
Ignoring his foolish remark, I scanned my eyes over the menu. Even the texture felt new!