Jamie and co await Pedro's return within the Farmhouse.
|Previous: Diego, Eve, Trinette, Bodashka, Anastasia, Dymtrus and Jamie rendezvoused with Pedro and Delilah to make the fake exchange. However, in the midst of negotiations, Jamie unexpectedly ran off with Oscar, and sort sanctuary with Pedro and Delilah. When he got to the van and opened the door he was surprised to see four burly men with shotguns sitting inside.
The van eventually arrived at a farmhouse to exchange vehicles. Three of the four burly men drive off in a grey SUV leaving Pedro, Delilah, Major, Jamie, Oscar and the forth burly men a blue SUV. Delilah led Jamie to a shed at the shortly after the three Bury men a had left and proceeded to give him a spanking as punishment for having run away…
“Hold still you little brat!” scolded Delilah as Jamie kicked and wriggled in a desperate attempt to free himself.
“Please Aunty Del, no more,” he begged but she continued spanking him without pity. “Ow, I promise I won’t…ow! I won’t run away again…ow!”
Delilah gave him another half a dozen rapid swats then bought the reprimand to a merciful end. She lifted Jamie him off her lap and placed him back on his feet.
“Right, young man I hope you have learned your lesson,” she scolded, wagging her index finger at the tip of his nose.
“That really hurt,” groused Jamie, tearfully rubbing his stinging butt.
“Good; maybe it’ll deter you from running off again. Now turn around and face the wall, and put your hands on your head.”
He wiped his moist eyes with the side of his right hand then obliged her instructions. Bitterness filled his mind and he found himself regretting having fled to Pedro’s van. Another escape seemed unlikely in the near future, as their vigilance and paranoia would no doubt be heightened.
“Hey, you guys alright in here?” said a familiar voice.
“Yeah, we’re almost done,” replied Delilah.
“What happened in here…why is Jamie crying?”
“She gave me a spanking,” blubbered Jamie.
“You’ve got no right to chastise him, and only yourself to blame for him wanting to run off. Why would he want to stay with people that treat him so cruelly?”
“It’s correction, not cruelty. Proverbs twenty nine; verse seventeen, says “Discipline your children and they will give you peace of mind and make your heart glad.” If you’ve got a problem with that, set up a séance, and take it up with King Solomon.”
“Be that as it may Jamie is not your child, and if you want peace and gladness I would reconsider hitting him.”
“I’m not seeking peace and gladness; all I want is for him to follow the rules.”
“Well good luck with that. Pedro’s gone off to pick up some supplies, you know snacks and stuff. He’ll be about half an hour, but he’s left us the key to the house for us to have a coffee while we await his return.”
“I thought he was like in a hurry to get going,” commented Jamie.
“Snacks are even more important to him than timekeeping. Come on, let’s get indoors and have a cuppa.”
“Okay, but don’t think you’re off the hook, Jamie. You’re going to do the rest of your timeout in the house.”
“Yes, Aunty Del.”
Jamie’s raw eyes vaguely scanned the unfamiliar surrounds of the Guest Room in which Delilah had confined him. It was slightly larger than Grayson’s bedroom, though with the same minimalist décor of Pedro’s Badroom. Wedged between two tall sash windows was a fireplace with a small mantelpiece; upon which sat a porcelain figurine of a sad dishevelled little boy, pushing a wheel barrel full of kittens.
An old dusty piano and dresser with a mirror lined the left hand wall, whilst what Jamie recognised from long ago visits his step-grandmother’s cottage in Fielding as a hope chest, armchair with torn red upholstery and the single bed that he had been crying upon for the past five minutes.
The room smelt dank and musty, with gritty wooden floorboards suggesting the room was utilised infrequently, and he was its first guest in quite some time. Cobwebs hung from the upper corners. It was exactly the sort of place that Pedro and Delilah would utilize as a Badroom, if they lived there.
Timeout had been a disaster. Part of the unrealistic requirements she expected from him was to keep his elbows up, whilst his hands were clasped on top of his head, but his arms grew tired and kept lowering. Each time this happened, she would start the clock again. Frustration got the better of him and he ended up swearing at her, for which he received a sharp smack, and an unspecified banishment in the Guestroom.
Shortly after the confinement he had heard Sneakers and Delilah arguing about the pros and cons of corporal punishment. It felt to have someone finally sticking up for him, but knew the guy was wasting his breath. She remained stolid in her defence of her disciplinary methods and refused to be swayed by any contrary arguments, no matter how sound.
Jamie shifted his attention to the oil painting hanging above the piano. It was by an artist named William Etty entitled Musidora: the bather at the doubtful breeze alarmed; depicting a naked woman bathing in shallow stream, startled by something.
The same painting featured in one of Katarina’s art books that Harvey, Deacon and he would sometimes secretly peek through when she was out. They each had their own theories as to what may have startled the woman; Harvey said it was Donald Trump, whilst Jamie suggested a hideous hobgoblin named Melissa. Deacon said he didn’t care, and was more interested in the size of her breasts, which he once measured with a ruler and giggled inanely at the result.
Footsteps approached and the door inched open. Sneakers entered carrying a Countdown Supermarket shopping bag. He closed the door behind him and sat down on the bed to the left of Jamie.
“We’ve got a long road-trip ahead of us,” said Sneakers placing the bag between them. “Delilah says you might want to change into something a little more summery,”
“Merry Christmas Mister Laurence,” mumbled Jamie, picking out his red Incredibles t-shirt and pale blue shorts. There was also the tangerine baseball cap Delilah had given him for his birthday and a small tube of sunscreen from the cancer society.
“What was that?”
“It’s a title of a Movie. My Stepmum like forbidded me and my stepbrothers from watching it, but we watched it anyways, one day when she was out. It was like really violent, but not the way-cool sort of violent. This guy, he kept getting tortured and stuff and whatever and it kind of like made me feel sick.”
“And the clothes make you feel sick?”
“Na…the clothes are cool…um…Sneakers, do you mind if I ask you like a personal question?”
“Ask away, little dude.”
“Why are you doing this? I mean, why would a kind someone like you, be willing to help someone like Pedro get back a kidnapped boy at gunpoint?”
“To tell you the truth, Jamie; those shotguns were fakes. It was all bluff really, but when someone gets a weapon pointed at them, they don’t usually second guess its lethalness.”
“Okay, but why do it at all? Why help out someone that hurts evil enough to steal a child away from his parents and throw his family into such a horrid nightmare? Why not help the frightened little boy get back home again, instead?”
“It’s a long story which I’m afraid I can’t get into right now.”
“I used to ask my stepdad questions and he’s promise to tell me when I got older…I miss him you know,”
“I could imagine.”
“He used to get really mad at me sometimes, but he always gave me a forgiving hug afterwards. I remember once we were at one of our snooty relations houses. Some sort of great aunt, or step great aunt, or whatever. She was going on and on about her two month trip through Europe.”
“Lucky her, there’s lots to see in such a large continent.”
“Yeah, anyways my parents and brothers and sister were all pretending to be interested, but they had like bored expressions. I waited for a pause in her adventures and asked if she had ever seen the Wizard of Oz?”
“That’s a bit random.”
“She said yes and I asked if she remembered the first time Dorothy met the Strawman, and the Strawman told her he had no brains. Dorothy then goes “If you have no brains then how can you talk?” And the Strawman goes: “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.” ”
“What did your Aunt say to that?”
“She went crazy-ape bonkers. Dad promised her he would severely punish me when we got home, but he never did. In fact he kept laughing to himself on the drive back to our place. Mum, however did not find the incident funny at all and she suspended my Wi-Fi privileges for a week.”
“Sometimes it pays not to get smart to grownups; especially people like Delilah.”
“You’re not wrong.”
“Well, best you get changed, and are ready to go before Pedro gets back. Delilah says your banishment time is up and she’s just poured out a glass of cordial for you. See you in the dining room.”
“Okay; I’ll be right out.”
“Oh for the love of Benji...I can’t fecking believe it!” ranted Pedro, from the front passenger seat of the Blue Mosaic SUV. .
“These CDs are all crap. I bet anything you want those other three idiots swapped them for the ones in the car they took.”
“How could they?” countered Delilah, whom had assumed temporary driving duties. “They went straight from the van to the car. We would have seen them if they had transferred anything.”
“They may have done it last night or very early this morning before we picked them up…I bet anything you like their car’s air conditioning is working.”
“Lowering the window works just as well as an air conditioner.”
Jamie sat slumped on the middle-right passenger seat. His arms were folded and head was resting against the window pane. Direct sunlight, accompanied with a long stretch windy road they had been on for the past quarter of an hour, was motivating the early signs of motion sickness.
“Barry Manilow?” continued Pedro. “What tone deaf halfwit would want to listen to that pretentious has-been asshole?”
“He sold about eighty five million records,” retorted Delilah.
“Eighty five million tone deaf halfwits.”
“Or forty two and a half million full wits,” said Sneakers, sitting to directly opposite Jamie.
“Either way, I’m not going to listen to this crap.”
“If you don’t want to listen to it, put something else on,” said Delilah.
“There’s stuff all to choose from; The Kinks – Low Budget, A Flock of Seagulls – Story of a Young heart, Hog Snort Rubert- Ways of making you laugh, Pink Floyd- Ummagumma, Dexies Midnight… ”
“Ummagumma?” interrupted Jamie. “That’s like the best of the best album…with honours, sir.”
“Best of the best-my foot,” mocked Pedro. “Pink Floyd is a has-been druggie crap band.”
“They are not. Pink Floyd’s the GOAT.”
“Not a real goat….It stands for Greatest of All Time. Put on Echoes, sir. It’s got a bit of a mixed bag of music.”
“Better than listening to Barry Manilow, huh?”
“I don’t listen to Barry Manilow, so I am not sure.”
“Okay, I’ll give Echo’s a go; but if its crap, you’ll get a clip across the ears for being such a tone-deaf halfwit.”
“That’s not fair. Everyone has their own taste in music. My Stepmum likes opera and stuff and can’t stand Pink Floyd for the same reasons I dislike Puccini.”
“Life’s is not meant to be fair, boy.”
“If you say so, Sir,”