How two boys painted themselves into a corner.
|Roy and Elvis were at it again. “Won’t mom be surprised?” Elvis pulled the rope lifting the bucket of paint mixture up into the tree house.
The brothers, Roy below and Elvis, living in an island in a fantasy world above were intent on getting their project done. “I’m coming up.” Roy made his way hand over hand up into the leaves.
They had turned the bottom half of the tree into a bizarre looking fall season. Splashes of day glow green, pink, yellow and puckish purple camouflage, decorated the branches, themselves and their newly made hut. “Yeah. We did it all on our own.”
They’d rifled their garage’s dusty corners, using every indoor, outdoor latex, satin, stain based half empty relic of the past bent half empty can to good effect. “Who’s that sneaking in our backyard fence?” Elvis hissed, shaking a wet painted hand against his brother’s arm.
“It’s not the milkman, that’s for sure.” Roy squeezed his eyes in concentration.
“You think it’s a burglar?” Elvis couldn’t believe their luck.
The two boys still had a few cans of paint in their hideaway fortress left to cover the walls, floor and ceiling inside. Smaller half pint cans and sports balls made ready hand grenades thrown from well practiced little league arms.
“What else, dude. Mom said she’d be working all weekend on her next horror comic book project. She’s expecting no-one, right?” Roy began flipping lids off.
“Yeah. Good thing we came back from the stay over with Margo and her mom. I kept falling off the side of that rinky-dink pirate ship playground slide Margo is so proud of.” Elvis lobbed the first can out the tree house window. Fake white bird turds splattered short of his target. The empty can rolled into the bushes.
“Let me show you how it’s done,” Roy dipped a tennis ball from a hanging basket into thick green goo. He wound up and let it fly.
A very surprised crow black as obsidian, met the arching comet in mid air. Ball and crow separated company. Green feathers fluttered lazily downward. The crow made a beeline for its soaring mate who must have thought he was a parrot or other exotic plumage.
Elvis whistled softly. “Wow. Painted that bird into a corner it can’t get out of. Well done.” They watched the two birds reconsider their relationship and take flight in opposite directions.
“There’s Margo coming to see what’s keeping us.” The boy’s excuse of errands must have been caught out as the lie it was.
“Her mom must have called our mom. We’ve got to save her from that burglar. Look. He’s trying to sneak inside our back door.” Roy handed Elvis a golf ball. “Come on. Third time is a charm. Together, ready?”
“Armed and ready.” This time a soft ball well coated with purple and red spraying behind it matched by the golf ball slimed with thick dark blue spun towards head height exactly aimed at the opening back door.
“Darling,” Gail Simone, single mother of the boys raised her arms in a welcome hug.
“Alone at last,” her new boyfriend leaned towards a kiss.
What his lips met was the passing golf ball, smearing his teeth and wiggling tongue blue.
The softball smacked the door with exploding color turning their mom’s eyes, nose and cheeks a new provocative hue.
Margo arrived just in time to find the second arriving display. A well tossed tennis ball bounced colorfully off the back of her head. “Got ‘em. Saved the day.” Roy announced proudly.
Elvis’ last golf ball throw shattered the nearest window into splinters of stained glass. “Oops. I missed.”
“Nope. Hole in one.” Roy ducked, slipped on spilled cans of wet paint and took Elvis down with him.
They grabbed each other, hanging on for dear life unable to stop their own arc out the treehouse doorway.
Margo, their mom and the new man friend started as two human comets fell short, splattering the ground in a tumble of bright colored limbs.
“Don’t ask,” Gail Simone stuttered.
Margo wiped dripping blue from blue eyes. “I don’t get it. Painting the house isn’t one of their chores?”
Mark Hampton, new Ex-boyfriend, spit matching blue paint down his front. “You said we were going to paint the town red.”
“You’re not a burglar?” Elvis separated himself from his brother.
“We were only trying to help,” Roy explained.
“You can help yourselves right back up into that tree and stay there until my hands stop wanting to strangle you.” Gail Simone promised with paint dripping off her nose.
For once the rumors spread about what happened by Margo and her mom, could not surpass reality. Gail Simone finally shrugged off her anger, realizing nothing worse could ever make her life any worse.
When Mark Hampton’s brother called that night, the chuckle in his voice ended up with asking Gail over with an offer for dinner and to paint her nails. “Aren’t you just the one.” She teased.
There was a satisfied grin when she poked her head inside the bathroom door where her colorful boys futilely played rub-a-dub-dub with soap and wash clothes. “You two are canned. Go out back and get chopping wood for a romantic future night for me and my bo, next to the fireplace."
She crossed her fingers hopping for the best. " I’ll be back before your paint's dry.”