The Writer's Cramp 1/26/21 W/C 431
#19 Martindale Lane
There is a house on the cul-de-sac at the end of Martindale Lane. Number 19. I sometimes ride my bike down that way. And sometimes Joey comes with me.
The day this happened, we decided to take Millie with us. She fit in Joey’s basket on the front of his bike. We took some snacks so we could sit in the back yard, munch a bit, and wait for the fun to begin.
At noon, Marcie and Andrea met us in the back yard of Number 19, Martindale Lane. The Millers had moved out in March. The house has been empty for months.
“Did you bring it?” I asked Marcie.
She dug in her backpack. Out came the guinea pigs. They were in a small green plastic ball.
“What is it?”
Marcie tossed the ball to me. The guinea pigs bounced in the green ball.
“Exercise ball for the piggies.”
Joey laughed. “You gotta be kidding. How do they throw that?”
“Just watch. Put the ball down, John.”
I dutifully put the pigs down in the yard. The ball zoomed across the grass. Millie chased the ball. We laughed, cheered on Millie.
“Get ‘em, Millie!”
“You can run faster! Don’t let the piggies win!”
“They’re little runts! You can do it, Millie!”
“Hey! What are you kids doing back here?”
We all stopped. Millie had the piggy ball in her mouth.
A man dressed in a suit stood in the driveway. He sure looked mad. Behind the man in the suit stood a man and a woman. They sure looked scared.
“Um, well, nothin. We’re just messin’,” I said.
“Not here, you’re not. I’m ordering you out. This house is private property. It’s for sale. Get out or I’m calling the cops. Out, all of you, now.”
This guy wasn’t kidding. The four of us looked at each other. Now or never
Soon chaos in the back yard: guinea pigs rolled all over in the ball, Millie chased the ball. Marcie, Andrea, George, and I played tag with the ball.
We’re still looking for the guinea pig ball. And the piggies. Millie buried the ball in the yard somewhere that afternoon in all the confusion.
The house at Number 19 Martindale Lane is still for sale. It’s been a year. The people that were with that man in the suit haven’t been back. There’s a rumor that the guinea pigs are now ghosts. I don’t believe it, but we don’t go there anymore to mess around. We now go to Apple Valley Hill. No houses there.