Three extraordinary boys attempt to save their father from a horde of goblins.
Just That Much Is Right With The World
In a room lit only by a plug in night light, three brothers appeared to sleep. One was not however, that boy’s name was Tyler Grant. He’s awake because he heard noises from the next room. His parents argue again. It’s mostly his mother’s voice he hears. It is a medium to high voice that shoots in and out of vicious inflection like daggers in the night. When Tyler hears his father’s tired voice rumble through the wall it sounds defensive.
Tyler felt a shuffle next to him. Reinhart has woken up too. Reinhart is Tyler’s younger brother. You couldn’t tell by the look of him, but he is two years younger than Tyler. People often mistake them for twins because they are practically the same height. Also, Reinhart has blonde curly hair as opposed to Tyler’s black curly hair. Reinhart begins to get up but Tyler stops him.
“Don’t go in there, they’re fighting.” Tyler says. Reinhart gets off the bed with a determined look.
“I want mommy.” He says out loud, the arguing stops.
“Oh, now we’re in trouble.” Tyler grumbles.
After a few seconds, their father’s large shadow looms in the doorway. “Go back to sleep guys, it’s too early.”
Reinhart ignores this and walks up to him.
“I wanna sleep with you.” He says. His father picks him up and says, “Okay, but you’ve got to really go to sleep if you want to come in with us.”
“Okay!” Reinhart’s smile beams through the darkness at Tyler. Their father puts Reinhart down who immediately runs into what the brothers affectionately call the ‘Mommy and Daddy’s room’. Their father lumbers over to their bed and crouches down to look at Tyler. “Hey buddy, you’ve gotta go to sleep.”
“I know dad, it’s just that I woke up.”
“Did you have another bad dream?”
“Yes.” Tyler answered.
“I was riding on a surf board in water next to the gutter, when a bunch of dogs tried to eat me.”
Their father kissed Tyler on the cheek and tucked him in his blanket. “You’ll be fine buddy. Don’t worry about it.”
His father left the kids’ room and everything was silent once again. The inside of Tyler’s head wasn’t silent however. It was filled with noise. Whirling, chaotic, howling sounds of buildings crashing, people screaming, gunshots and wild anarchy. He squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to drown out the madness that drove him to squeeze his pillows and clutch his blankets.
A few hours later at the breakfast table the sound in Tyler’s head was gone. Brian, the third brother or as he like to put it, the first brother since he was the oldest, rambled on about the Mr. Needlemouse video game.
“—and in the end of the first stage, Mr. Needlemouse jumped high in the air hit the bad boss with his back, which was covered with needles. The bad boss went BOOM! But he wasn’t dead, he just looked burned…”
Reinhart hummed some kind of song to himself as he cheerfully ate his cereal. Their father walked into the dining area tying his necktie.
“It’s not your day off today?” Reinhart asked.
“No buddy, daddy’s gotta go to work today.” Father answered.
“Aw Man!” Reinhart said, disappointed.
Their father ruffled Tyler’s hair. “How’re you doing?” He asked.
“I’m okay.” answered Tyler.
Tyler loved the new neighborhood they lived in. Torrance, California. He wasn’t sure about his new school however. He had to leave his school in west Los Angeles where he had a girlfriend named Samantha and several friends. The teacher liked him and his mommy volunteered in the classroom.
There was the fact that a gang had infested the block they lived on and with daddy working so much they pretty much stayed inside when they weren’t at school. “That’s no life for our sons.” He remembered his mommy telling daddy.
They would walk to Oak Elementary School in the mornings through a pretty neighborhood which had trimmed lawns or fancy gardens. The weather was almost always nice with abundant sunshine. Tyler loved this, it made him feel at ease, the walk was the best part of the day however because when he got to school unrelenting shyness overtook him.
Because Brian was in the fourth grade they always dropped him off at his class first. Then they’d drop off Reinhart in the kindergarten yard so he could play during morning recess. Then Tyler and the mommy would wait until the bell rang, and this was always the best time for Tyler. He had his mommy’s attention. His beautiful mommy, he adored her with her pretty face, and wavy black hair. She was prettier than all the other mommy’s and stronger too. Even at seven-years- old Tyler could pick out the healthy specimens from the unhealthy. These tired flabby women, who didn’t watch their kids as they got away with murder. Where was the justice in this? That these women would drink their coffee drinks and talk to each other like ignorant chickens while their bratty little kids with expensive sneakers would kick playground balls at his head deliberately? Tyler looked up at his mommy and smiled, because he knew if push came to shove she could beat any of the other mommies up if she had too.
Tyler’s stomach sank as the bell clanged. “Okay Tyler, have a great day and remember to be a good boy.” She said as she pinched his cheek. “You’re so cute I could bite you!” She said with her quick little laugh. “Ha, ha.” Gunshot’s of happiness.
“Okay” He mumbled. He didn’t want to, but he stood in line like a good boy should. The other kids ran up to the line also, they jostled and joked and spoke about things Tyler didn’t know about. He looked over at the girls’ line and his mood brightened. There were a couple of pretty cute girls in his class, and that right there was the only thing that made the day worth going through.
Once resigned to school work Tyler went about it the best he could. He sharpened pencils for the teacher with a smile, always good to do things for the teacher. He worked on his math lessons, and something strange happened. He saw something move in a corner of the classroom. There was a chest of costumes there, little fun things they’d play dress up with for their drama hour. It was green and had sharp teeth but not scary at all. It looked directly at Tyler then disappeared.
After lunch something bad happened. A boy named Lance tried to take a girl’s pen as she was drawing. Tyler looked around for the teacher. She was across the classroom engrossed in teaching little Jonathan Hunt arithmetic. Tyler said with a cracked voice “Hey, leave her alone.”
Lance got into Tyler’s face, “What’re you gonna do huh?”
Lance yelled as Tyler punched him in the face. Tyler had managed to land a few more good blows on Lance before the teacher ran into the melee and grabbed Tyler by the scruff of his shirt.
“What’s going on!?” His Teacher, Ms. Wilmot, demanded.
“He tried to kill me!” Lance screamed. “Be quiet!” Ms. Wilmot snapped at Lance. “Tyler, what happened?”
“Lance was trying to take her pen. I told him to leave her alone, then he came up to me, this close.” Tyler gestured his hand in front of his face.
“He’s lying!” Lance shrieked, his face shining red with embarrassment.
“Oh be quiet! I know who’s lying around here and that’s you.” She pointed at him.
Lance shrank back, then, realizing he had lost this mission, slunk over to his desk.
Then it was over. Tyler was amazed. He didn’t have to go to the principal’s office? They wouldn’t call his mommy? This was perfect, the best thing to ever happen to him!
The rest of the day floated by and it was soon time for school to end. He met up with Brian and Reinhart behind the gate for mommy to pick them up. Next to the school there was a park, creatively named Oak park. It had a nice sand pit filled with playground equipment, but what dominated the playground was the rocket ship. The rocket ship had four compartments you could climb into, and it had a really fast slide. It was in the top of the rocket ship that Tyler spotted the thing he saw in the classroom. It peered through the metal bars down at Tyler with a smirk on its face and a couple of sharp teeth showing through its parted lips.
Brian’s voice caught his attention. “—It was great. We were in P.E and we had to run, so I ran and I ran so fast that I beat everyone. No one could catch up to me because I was the fastest.”
Tyler looked again at the rocket ship but the thing was gone again. “Can we have pizza tonight?” Reinhart asked the mommy.
“Yeah, we’ll have pizza.”
Tyler loved the walk home because the walk home meant school was over, it meant that there would be swimming and food and fun and only a teensy little bit of homework. Just that much was right with the world as far as Tyler was concerned.
Back in Ms. Wilmot’s classroom the boy named Lance smiled at his ‘teacher’. “We set that one up good didn’t we?” He asked her.
“We did indeed” She answered. “We’re ahead of the rest now. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.”
That said they disappeared in much the same way as the thing that Tyler saw did.