This is a text + audio chapter from my book, Brad Lee and the BIG 2K. A new episode goes live every Friday, so be sure to drop by at least once a week!
(Chapter Three: Reality Bites)
The door swings open without a courtesy knock. It’s just another thing Mom likes to do, whenever she wants to get a rise out of me. Normally I would start moving toward the door by now, to cut her off before she has a chance to start yelling at me, but this time I decided to test my luck by staying in character.
“You… vill pay… for thisss!” I waved a hand, as I made my announcement.
I still had an idiotic grin on my face, but I tried to focus on speaking with a dark, ominous tone as I continued the role by muttering under my breath.
“Very well. You may now speak to the Prince of Darkness, helpless mortal.”
Mom stepped through the doorway, ignoring my act, and replied with one of her standard comebacks.
“Agh! Your room smell like a peeg house, you know that? It’s not healthy in here.”
She marched across my room, timing her steps perfectly to throw the curtains open with a well-practiced one-armed swoosh. Then she stopped, pivoted, and looked straight down at me. I have to admit, she really has this routine down. I guess it’s because we’ve rehearsed this little dance so many times.
I raised my arms to shield myself with an imaginary cape, and loudly hissed at beams of sunlight that instantly illuminated my room. Millions of floating dust particles exploded with a blinding, swirling glow.
Her knees were parked at each side of my head, and her silhouetted figure cast a long shadow that spilled over me. I continued to squirm, as if I were desperately seeking cover. Then the whole world shook as she kicked the wooden bed frame beneath me, and I unhappily grunted in acknowledgement.
She bent over, with her hands on her hips. “Brad, you need to get up and see what we got you today.”
I wanted to answer, but my mind was on other things at the moment. The comedy that was unfolding in front of me was spellbinding, as her upside-down face morphed into a sort of grotesque human caricature, with her chin suddenly looking like a fat, comically oversized round nose, and bottom teeth forming the illusion of a perfect, tiny, white row of top teeth. I felt my face contort again, and this time I could clearly see that Mom was not in the mood for any of this. Thoroughly frustrated with my impromptu schtick, she grimaced with disapproval, which only made the upside-down face way, way, funnier.
I had successfully reached the point of no return. I quickly sat up, if only to prevent her from seeing me crack a smile again. Birthday or no birthday, I needed to get a grip, because Mom was about to go postal on my ass.
“Ohhh-kaaayyy… I’m ready. You see?”
“Go. You always make everybody waiting for you.”
She quickly navigated around the bed, kicking away whatever crossed her path. Then she stopped at the door, and watched for anything that could possibly signal the slightest shred of defiance, as she jabbed a finger toward the hallway.
“Now. Downstairs. To the keet-chen.”
I sighed one more time. Then I stood up, and sheepishly lumbered past her.
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