The continued struggle of a dysfunctional family to find peace
|PLEASE NOTE THAT PARTS ONE AND TWO OF THIS STORY HAVE BEEN MOVED TO THE RENDEZVOUS WITH DRAMA FOLDER in the "LONGER STORIES/SERIALS ETC Folder"
Story Recap:- Fearing for the safety of his stepmother (Kelly Regis) during a violent domestic Logan confronts his aggressive stepfather (Daniel) in hope of dissuading him from beating her up. Kelly hastens him from danger but seems less than grateful for his selfless act, scolding him instead for endangering himself and chastising him for cussing. The following morning the Regis family goes out for a drive as way of rekindling happy families so to speak. As Daniel pulls into a car park in order to buy Logan and his younger sibling (Anthony) an ice cream a teenager crashes into the back of their car with his father's Mazda 323. Daniel gets out and threatens to teach the teen a lesson but the teen panics and speeds off with Daniel in hot pursuit. Part Three opens moments after Logan texts his school counsellor, imploring her to ring the police so they can bring the chase to a halt before someone gets serious hurt.
Logan’s heart sank as the words “Not Delivered” flashed onto at the bottom right of the message. He tried to “Resend” but was once again thwarted.
“What gives?” he muttered then cursed bitterly under his breath.
“Please drive a little slower Daddy,” implored Anthony, but his words seemed to go in one ear and out the other. He cleared his throat and spoke a little louder. "Please drive a..."
“I heard you the first time boy, if I slow down he’ll get away”
“Our teacher says :“the faster you go the bigger the mess.”” added Logan.
“Well your teacher isn’t driving and if you don’t like the way I drive perhaps you should get out and walk. Is that what you want, huh?- to walk home?”
“No, of course not but…”
“Well keep your mouth shut and keep your backseat driving bullshit to yourself."
Logan drew a heavy sigh and then closed his eyes; willing himself to a special happy place to where he journeyed whenever the stress levels got too much to bear.
A gentle breeze cascaded as he wandered along a twisting walkway through lush fields until he finally reached “Caring’s Cottage”; a quaint little cottage with squirrel infested elm trees and a windmill in the front yard, and a glasshouse full of smiling honeybees in the back. The bees never stung and only ever buzzed about with a therapeutic hum.
The gate automatically swung open as he approached, then shut again when he passed through. He followed a cobblestone path to the front door, pressed the bell and waited patiently. Time ceased to exist within this happy-place dimension. Often he would spend seemingly hours there, and then return only to find less than a few moments of reality had transpired.
Footsteps sounded from within and the door opened wide. Cassandra Sweetcakes greeted him with a gentle smile. She had long curly blonde hair, deep blue eyes, ruby lips and exquisitely bejewelled earrings. A lacy robe hung from her shoulders and the glitter on her silken blouse seemed to sparkle in the sunlight, whilst a pair of pink tights hugged her long slender legs. She also wore ruby slippers similar to those of Dorothy’s in the wizard of Oz, but it was not her beauty that compelled him back to her time after time, it was more her empathic charm.
Cassandra always welcomed Logan into her cottage, no matter how naughty he had been. She did not scold or punish and never chastised him; preferring instead to regale him with wisdom or alternatives to the behaviours that had landed him in trouble with Kelly or Daniel. There had been times when she had been his only true friend he could rely on.
Often he dreamt that Cassandra had taken him away from all the domestic violence and chaos and adopted him as her own son. There in Caring’s Cottage he would spend his days, feeding and petting the multitude of cute little kittens and watching them tumble at play. She would feed him with pancakes with jam and cream and allow him access to her huge barrel of cookies whenever he wished.
“Hello sweetheart, so nice to see you again. The jug has just boiled so do come in and enjoy a nice hot cup of coco.”
Logan smiled back at her for a few seconds. He imaged her as his mother, greeting him as he came home from school; not with an urgent undertow for him to do his homework, or a terse rebuke for his lack of punctuality, or for something he had done/failed to do, but with a genuine gladness to see him. A lump climbed into his throat and tears started streaming down his cheeks before he could stop them.
“Help me!” he cried.
“There-there, sweetie” she consoled, embracing him tightly and patting the seat of his jeans like his biological mother used to do when he was a toddler.
A sudden scream tore Logan from Cassandra’s warm embrace and dragged him back into reality. His eyes flickered opened and scanned his surroundings for the source of Kelly’s distress then locked onto the windscreen.
Logan gasped as he saw the Mazda skidding uncontrollably toward a wooden fence on the side of the road. It impacted hard, sending glass, paling splinters and metal debris showering in all directions.
“Oh my God!” fretted Kelly.
Daniel eased his foot off the accelerator, singled left then came to a halt behind the now stationary Mazda. He killed the engine, muttered under his breath and stared coldly at the car.
“D-do you (sob) th-think (sob) he’s d-dead?” blubbered Anthony.
“Hope springs eternal, boy,” replied Daniel, coldly.
“That’s a horrid thing to say,” protested Logan.
“A horrid sentiment for a horrid teenager…you two boys stay in the car. I’ll sort it all out.”
“Please don’t (sob) hit him Daddy!” implored Anthony.
“Did I say I was going to hit him?”
“No Daddy but…”
Red and blue lights of an approaching police car suddenly flashed up ahead of them and Logan breathed a sigh of relief.
Daniel had now well and truly lost his chance of reeking vengeance on the teen.
“Here puss-puss-puss!” summoned Anthony, pacing out into the backyard carefully carrying a saucer fill of milk “Here puss, here puss, here puss-puss-puss!”
It was late in the afternoon now and the Regis family was home again. An impromptu afternoon delight had afforded Logan and Anthony a little timeout from the chaotic domestics that had upset them with such intensity for the past seventeen hours and they were planning to make the most of it with Mewszac Nonstop.
“Don’t spill it,” cautioned Logan, following close behind his younger sibling.
“I ain’t gunna spill it.”
“Will too you’re like all clumsy.”
“Na, not even…’sides ain’t no use crying over spilt moo-juice…here puss-puss-puss!”
A rustling sounded from the array of bushes to the southern end of the section and a ginger tomcat emerged then trotted towards the two boys.
“I can see Mewszac!” said Logan.
“Sweet-sweet Mewszac!” added Anthony, gingerly placing the saucer on the ground.
“Dear little pussycat”
“Sweet little pussycat,”
“Lovely little pussycat,”
“Cutest little pussycat,”
“My little pussycat,”
“And my little pussycat too,”
Mewszac Nonstop briefly stared at them as though they had lost their minds before lapping up the milk.
“Told ya I wouldn’t spill the milk, Logs”
“You got lucky, or fluky or whatever.”
“Not luck Logan; skill, they don’t call me Tony Skills for nothing.”
“More like Tony no-skills.”
“Na, not even. I’m so skilful it sometimes scares me.”
“It don’t take much to scare you, not like me I’m like one of the Power Ranges.”
“Na, you have to be like all brave and stuff and whatever to be a Power Ranger…you’re more like a Power Puff girl.”
“I am too brave.”
“If you were brave you would not so chicken to save me and Mummy from Daniel. You’re my older brother you’re meant to protect me…remember?”
Tears welled in Logan’s eyes as he struggled to find a comeback to his sibling’s accusation. He felt deeply ashamed for not having done more to stop his stepfather’s rage throughout the dangerous pursuit. The teen had only suffered minor injuries and car did not appear a complete write-off but the outcome could very well have been disastrous with innocent fatalities.
“I’m sorry,” whimpered Logan crouching down and absently petting the cat. “I’m just a use…(sob)… useless big brother (sob).”
“That’s not true,” consoled Anthony, crouching down next to Logan and wrapping his arm round his elder sibling’s convulsing shoulders. “I did not mean to upset you Logs…honest I didn’t, in fact I’m glad you did not try and stop him. He’d really hurt you and I don’t want to see my bestest bro get hurt.”
“I have failed you Anthony and for that I am truly sorry,” he said in a sincere tone “But trust me when I say that I vow from now on to stop that asshole from hurting you and Mum if it is the last thing I do.”
“Please be careful.”
“I’ll take care and bide my time and in a moment when he least suspects I’ll make my move and he won’t see it coming.”