Written for the meme Magpie Tales,
although it’s past 8AM EST on Tues., so I can’t share it there.
But it was fun playing around with some favorite characters of mine. 😀
(And yes – my daughter says this sounds very much like some male friends she has)
Lazy summer days weren’t cliché in Rexburg, Idaho. They were more like a staple. In the month of August, temperatures finally climbed past ninety degrees Fahrenheit, sending most folks that could retreating to their basements or swimming in the canals. Teens spent more time on video games or movies than outside hiding from the adults in their lives. Dates were arranged via cell phone as opposed to face to face, preferably by text.
In Joey’s case, most of his friends ended up at his house. How his room became the designated summer spot, his mother couldn’t understand. Yet, there Mitchell Black lay on his bed, and she had let Paul Brannigan in the through the front door moments ago. She shook her head as she passed by the room, signaling for Paul to go on in.
“Hey, Joe,” said Paul, entering the bedroom.
Joey looked up from the glow of the computer screen. He jerked his thumb towards Mitch asleep on the bed.
“Are you serious?” Paul asked, sitting next to him on a vacant stool. “What knocked him out?”
Joey’s fingers continued to fly across the keyboard while he shrugged.
“Nothing. He’s bored.”
Paul’s rare devilish grin appeared, kicking the bed frame with his boot. A snort escaped out Mitch’s nose when he turned on his side. Both teens snickered.
“Mitch, dude, wake up,” Paul said, kicking the bed harder.
Mitch sat up, running long fingers through his ruffled ruddy hair. His eyes blinked, focusing on his two friends.
“You look like crap,” Paul said, working hard to keep a straight face. “And the girls are meeting us in ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes?” he asked.
“Yeah. At the movie theater. Remember?”
Paul swung his body around to face Joey so Mitch wouldn’t see the grin breaking out across his face. Joey glanced at his mischievous friend when Mitch swore, refusing to get involved. He watched the groggy teen throw himself off the bed, making a streak for the bathroom. A few seconds later they heard the water running in the sink.
“What’re you doin’ when he figures out there is no date?” Joey murmured, going back to focus on the email he had been working on.
“Laughing my butt off,” Paul snickered.
They heard the water in the bathroom come to a stop, followed by a soft rap on the sink. Joey’s fingers paused, his head snapping up.
“What’s he doing?” Joey asked.
“Sounds like he’s brushing his teeth. Ga! With your toothbrush!”
“Freaking–,” Joey paused, remembering the lecture he’d gotten that morning about swearing loud enough for his mom to hear. He launched himself toward the bathroom. “That’s just wrong.”
Paul didn’t try to stifle the laughter. In Joey’s mind, there wasn’t anything funny about the issue. A little on the OCD side himself, he was of the opinion that some things you just didn’t share with your buds, and those included his damn toothbrush. He banged on the door, hollering. Mitch opened it, foam dripping from his teeth.
“What are you… doing?” Joey asked, his voice lowering mid sentence as it fell flat. Paul sat up, intrigued.
“What does it look like? Brushing my teeth.”
Joey stared at the toothbrush in his friend’s hand.
“With my mom’s cleaning brush?”
“What? It’s a toothbrush. Your toothbrush, right?”
“Dude… that’s not my toothbrush,” Joey told him, the amusement beginning to show on his face. “It’s the toothbrush my mom uses to scrub the tile.”
Mitch exploded a verbal entourage of expletives before plunging his face under the faucet, rinsing over and over. Both his friends doubled over in painful glee.
“I don’t see what’s so funny,” Mitch yelled in between spits. “You can die from that stuff!”
“Give me a break,” Paul declared.
“Yeah,” Joey gasped. “We just got a whole year of blackmail in one afternoon!