A Beach full of squablbes
|Recap: Jamie was scolded by Katarina for losing her $1,500.00 camera. As punishment he was denied permission to go to a friend’s pool party, which he had been looking forward to attending.
Whilst confined to his room, to contemplate his carelessness he considered methods of somehow financially reimbursing her for the loss.
It is now the next day and Jamie is off to an afternoon family picnic.
-Stepson on the Beach-
“The ship came into the harbour with a cargo full of ems,” said Deacon.
“Maggots,” said Jamie
“Arf,” added Koromaru; the Radcliffe’s Siberian Husky Labrador Retriever.
“Martians? They’re ain’t on board, they’re in flying saucers.”
“Could of crash landed on the ship.”
“Then the ship would sink.”
“Not if it landed in the ship’s swimming pool.”
“They’d be all drownded cuz Mars ain’t got no water for Martins to bother learning to swim.”
“Okay then, maybe may they landed on the ship, over powered the captain, set their phases to kill and forced the rest of the crew to take them a shore.”
“Cargo captains are trained to kick alien butt. It just wouldn’t happen.”
“Arf,” said Koromaru
“Stop it!” said Katarina. “That’s once; both of you. If you can’t play something without squabbling then don’t play anything at all.”
Jamie folded his arms close to his chest and stared out the window, mimicking his stepmother’s warning under his breathe. Green vegetation and intermittent vehicles flashed by. A motorbike overtook them and the rider yelled some sort of abuse then roared into the distance.
Seating arrangements in Alexander’s red 2008 Subaru Legacy was structured by the same complex hierarchy as the Radcliffe’s chain of command. Alexander and Katarina normally sat in the front, unless one of their children earned shotgun privileges. Behind them in the middle seats sat Travis, Melissa and Harvey. Deacon and Jamie were relegated to the rear seats, whilst Koromaru usually sat in the back.
“I’m don’t want to play anymore,” said Jamie.
“Cool. I win, you lose. A ship came in to harbour with a cargo full of losers…ow! Mummy, Jamie punched my arm and it hurt. I think he broke it, or something, or whatever.”
“That’s three times Jamie,” said Katarina “No ice cream on the way back.”
“That’s not fair!”
“Ha-ha, Jamie got punished,” teased Deacon.
“And twice for you, Deacon.”
“Arf-arf” said Koromaru, and even Katarina could not help but laugh.
Clouds obscured the late afternoon sun as Jamie and Deacon raced down the beach, with Koromaru bounding alongside them. Squawking seagulls circled above, a radio sounded from behind, and here and there were crudely constructed sandcastles.
The two boys charged into the crashing waves and came to a sudden halt and winced when the cold water smote their bare feet, but Koromaru continued on; splashing about and barking with glee. The waves receded, drew hard against their ankles then struck them again.
“Plunge time,” said Jamie. He waded forward, jumping over each wave in turn.
“Arf-arf-arf” said Koromaru.
“Koromaru says that’s deep enough,” said Deacon. The tide was already above their knees.
Jamie crouched and dug his heels deep into the sandy bottom. A large wave crashed against his chest. Salt water sprayed up onto his face and in his mouth. He stumbled slightly but dug managed to keep his balance.
They kicked water at one another for a brief period and roughhoused amid the waves. Koromaru bounded around them; supervising their mischief. Jamie lost his footing and fell butt first into the tide. His head submerged All went quiet, except for a low muffled roar. Panic ensued and he struggled back out of the water and as he did so, his swimming trunks were hauled down passed his knees.
“Hey everyone, come and look at Jamie’s giant peach!” cried Deacon.
“That’s not funny,” he said, quickly pulling them back up. He snatched his stepbrother’s upper earlobe and twisted it clockwise.
“Ow! You hurt my ear, big mistake.”
Jamie watched, on while Deacon splashed his way back passed the shore line and onto the beach. The boy searched around for a short time, picked up a long thin length of driftwood and charged back.
“Help me, Koromaru,” cried Jamie. “Quick, protect me from that insane warrior!”
Koromaru raced in front of Jamie, barricading him. He barked several times before bounding forward and biting into the driftwood. Splintered debris showered in all directions.
“Stop it, both of you!” said Katarina .
The boys abruptly ceased their fray occasioning Koromaru to snatch the driftwood out of Deacon’s hand and race back onto the beach. Jamie gazed at his stepmother and with misty eyes. Though far from exonerated for the previous day’s camera transgression, he was back on speaking terms with her, frosty as they were.
“Jamie started it!” retorted Deacon, folding his arms tightly against his chest.
“Did not,” said Jamie.
“Did too…he hit me.”
“Deacon pulled down my trunks.”
“Jamie pulled them down himself cuz…cuz…um…cuz he wanted to poo on a mermaid.”
“How many times do I have to caution you about being vulgar? No ice cream for you on the way back.”
“Awwwww mummy, that’s not fair!”
“Ha ha, Deacon got punished.”
“Arf Arf” said Koromaru bounding about in the sand.
“I want you two to come back now…lunch is ready.”
“Okay Mum. I’ll race ya, Deacon; last one back’s a pair of stinky socks.”
“I spy with my little eye something with - Oh” said Jamie, sitting lying toward the far corner of the large tartan rug.
“Ocean,” said his eldest stepbrother, Travis.
“Oranges?” said his stepsister Melissa.
“Nah…Deacon scoffed them all up the greedy pig.”
“Better to be pig than a peach,” countered Deacon.
Jamie motioned to hit him, but thought better of it.
“Onion?” said Harvey.
“No, not onions.”
“Arangutan!” said Deacon excitedly, pointing up to the clouds.
“That’s a great answer. I can see it too. Sorry, it’s not orangutan. Besides that would start with Em for Melissa…ow! Mum, Melissa slapped me...and it really hurt.”
“Good for her.” said Katarina. “Now apologise to your sister.”
“Sorry Mel…you’re not really a monkey.”
“Old people,” said Jamie’s stepfather Alexander. He was a tall lean man, with dark curly hair and a goatee-beard. Though difficult to reason with, in times of rebuke, and never struck any of his off spring in anger.
“What exactly are you implying, Alex?” said Katarina.
“The elderly couple, dear; walking along the beach,”
“Good save Dad,” said Jamie, rubbing his smarting left thigh. “What about you Mum…it’s all up to you now.”
“I’m not sure but I’d hasten a guess that it’s something obscure.”
“Couldn’t make it too easy,”
“And it definitely starts with Oh?”
“That it does…um…and if you don’t guess right I don’t be punished, aye Mum,”
“Tell your tummy not to fret Jamie; you’ll get your ice cream.”
“Something beginning with Oh, Mum,”
“Well I can’t see any otters or octopi, and we didn’t pack any olive oil, but there is a photo of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the newspaper we wrapped the cups up with.”
“You were very close.”
“Okay sweetie, you can have your ice cream. Now tell us what it is.”
“You were right about the newspaper. At the bottom of the page is an advert for ice cream…one of the flavours is Oreo cheese cake with cookies.”
“You’re a right little scallywag sometimes,” said Alexander ruffling Jamie’s still moist hair. “And a proper little conman to boot,”
“Yeah, let’s all boot his bum?” said Deacon with a cheeky grin.
“That’s four and counting,” warned Katarina “Take care, I’d hate you to miss out on the Pavlova desert."