copyright 2011/all rights reserved
OIL IN WATER
a novel by
CHAPTER TWO (b)
In exchange for driving privileges, Robbie had completely rebuilt Kori’s engine, supplying it with more torque than a freight train. The second child, Robbie was stocky and athletic and possessed of neither Kori’s prima donna attitude nor Avery’s command of the English language. Born with dyslexia, he struggled to spell sometimes, yet he was mechanically inclined and could build anything from scratch. That coupled with a keen imagination earned him the monikor, “Mr. Fix-It.”
Kori stuck the key in the ignition and the car roared to life, radio blaring. Gil covered his ears and screamed. Kori jumped and turned to see ZiZi licking Gil’s face where he lay huddled on the floor, his hands tightly clasped to his ears, his vocal cords exploding in wave after wave of high-pitched wailing.
“Gil. Easy. Gil!” Kori turned off the radio, but the engine still wailed like a colicky baby. Avery climbed in the back, pulling Gil up to a sitting position, covering his ears and rocking him gently. Gil stopped screaming, but his body continued convulsing.
“Do something before he has a fit,” Kori yelled to Avery. Avery’s gaze swiveled; his eyes settled on the glove compartment.
“Tissues,” Avery said.
Kori handed Avery a package of tissues. He folded one and rolled it between his hands, scrunched it into a conical shape and inserted one into each of Gil’s ear, grabbed Gil’s shoulders and took several deep breaths indicating Gil should mimic him. Gil’s chest rose and fell rhythmically and after a minute, his shaking, along with the tension in the car, subsided.
“Are you sure you want to leave?” Kori asked.
“Just go before he has another freakazoid attack,” Avery said. Gil looked past Avery with wide, doe eyes and a slack mouth.
“Drive!” Avery commanded.
Kori watched Gil in the rear view mirror, rocking gently in the back seat, tissues sticking out of his ears. She stifled a laugh and pulled out of the driveway; she’d only made it a few hundred feet when Gil spoke.
“Pull in here.”
“What?” Kori asked.
“Just do it, Kori,” Avery said. Kori shook her head and muttered something under her breath, but pulled into Aunt Stella’s driveway anyway, a scant three doors down from their own.
“Why are we parking at Aunt Stella’s house?” Kori asked. “we’re practically still at our house.”
“Yeah, Gil,” Avery added. “This doesn’t bode well for concealing our whereabouts.”
Kori fished through her purse for a cigarette, found the pack and pulled one out.
“You shouldn’t smoke,” Gil said.
“I don’t, really. Just once in a while,” Kori answered.
“Shut the lights and cut the engine,” Gil said.
“Stop telling me what to do,” Kori said, but obliged. “This is ridiculous.” She found her lighter, flicked it once. It didn’t take.
“No!” Gil whispered. He shoved Kori’s head down across the console. Avery bent his head down next to Gil who was crouched on the floor in the back seat.
“Jesus, Gil,” Kori said, her chest pressed against the drive shaft. “You’ve been watching too many Bruce Willis movies.” After a minute, she sat up. “Gil. Enough!”
“Get down!” Gil said, and turned to peer out the back window.
A car was creeping down the road. The driver killed the lights as it passed Aunt Stella’s house. The trio huddled together, peering out the back window as the car pulled into the Tirabi driveway. A dark figure emerged, climbed the porch steps and unscrewed the light. The porch went dim. They watched the dark silhouette playing with the lock. Moments later, the figure walked in the Tirabis’ front door.
“Did you lock the door?” Kori demanded of Avery.
“Ssshhhhhhhhh!” Gil said, staring wide-eyed and fascinated. The children saw a shadow pass by the window, followed by the erratic beam of a flashlight, sweeping the room. The figure emerged, carrying a long tube under his arm. In one fluid motion, he jumped over the railing and rolled onto the ground. The car backed out of the driveway and crawled down the street. Halfway up the block, the driver flicked on the lights and drove away.
“Let go of me,” Kori jerked away and Gil released the stranglehold grip he had on her neck. Kori breathed in short bursts trying to regain her composure.
“What just happened?” Avery asked.
“The drawings,” Gil replied.
“What drawings?” Avery asked, but even as the words left his lips, an explosion on the Tirabi porch caused their car windows to vibrate. The front door of the house blew off its hinges and several of the windows on the front porch shattered.
to be continued. . .