Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It was Fate that decided - Russell's Revenge by Dennis Fishel

Fate has been messing up Dennis’s life for as long as he can remember. 
It was Fate that decided Russell Folmer—the biggest, ugliest, and meanest kid on earth—would live only two houses south of Dennis’s. 


Published: January 18th, 2016

Fate has been messing up Dennis’s life for as long as he can remember. 

It was Fate that decided Russell Folmer—the biggest, ugliest, and meanest kid on earth—would live only two houses south of Dennis’s. 

Fate was also responsible for making Russell the same age and placing him in the same school. So who else but malicious Fate would arrange for Russell to be in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time when the bombs crafted from the only product a dog manufactures fell from Dennis’s experimental kite? 

Now, with dog dumplings decorating Russell’s extremely large and angry face, it looks as though Dennis’s days of successfully dodging the well-known bully are over. 

As the sound of Russell’s pounding feet gets ever closer, two questions flare up in Dennis’s panicked mind like neon in the blackness of a cave: What has he done to make Fate hate him so much, and how is he going to get out of this fix?

From chapter“The Naked Truth About Camping”

“That’s quite a bruise on your forehead, Dennis,” Alice said. Her tone made it sound like a compliment, but she had that mischievous glint in her eye again. “What happened, did Russell catch up with you?”

“What–you mean you don’t already know?”

“Of course I know,” she admitted with a snap of her chewing gum. “How could I miss? That mom of yours is a terror, Dennis. She went after that guy in the Rambler like a rat after cheese. I was just teasing you about Russell. Too bad you can’t pin the blame for your accident on him somehow.”
Yeah. Too bad, I thought.

“He’s home again, you know,” Alice rattled on. “And it looks like he won’t be going back this time.”
There was that glint again, like letting me know Russell would be near and threatening had some form of entertainment value. Her smirky little face gave her away.

“Aren’t you going to ask me why he won’t be painting barns anymore?” she asked, the irritating smirk blossoming into a full-metal grin.

“Why would I?” I said. “It doesn’t really matter, does it. If he’s here, he’s here.” That ought to rock her, I thought. Alice had always dangled information like a baited hook, fishing for my neediness and maybe trying to catch a little power for herself. But she had no power over me if I treated her news like it had no special value.

“Shoot, man, that girl ain’t got a corner on the news market,” Jay managed to say at his house a few minutes later, his words detouring around a gob of rice pancakes he was wolfing. “Russell’s all broke out. His arms and face are glowing like he’s on fire.”

“How’d you get close enough to see that?” I asked.

“You don’t have to be close to see it, he’s so red. He was in his backyard when I spotted him over the fence. His mom talks to Mrs. Colmes, the Avon lady, and you know those women, man. They spread news around like fertilizer. Mrs. Colmes told my mom about Russell’s situation when she delivered a bottle of some kind of woman foo-foo. She was also pitchin’ some new skin cream and said it was good enough to fix chemical burns like what the Folmer boy had.”

“Chemical burns?”

“Turpentine,” Jay said. “Russell never cleaned the brushes he used and his uncle got tired of findin’ ’em all dry and crusty and havin’ to throw ’em away. So he showed Russell how to clean ’em with the stuff and the slob spilled it all over himself. He’s allergic to it or somethin’.”

“Oh, that’s just great,” I sighed. “That means Alice was right; Russell is probably home to stay.” I didn’t know if that was the bad news, or if Alice being right again was.

But now there was Mom to contend with, too. “He seems lonely,” she’d announced when she told me that Russell had come to our door again. She’d sent him home, telling him about my restriction, but also telling him she might lift it in a day or two.

“I think we’ve got to get out of town ourselves,” I said. “Mom’s done this stuff before.” I didn’t tell Jay he’d been one of her projects. “She thinks she’s a friendship matchmaker, but she’s kind of shy on knowledge when it comes to who and what Russell is. I think she’s about to invite him over to be one of my ‘little friends’.” I said the last two words with a sneer.

“That’s no good, man. If she matches you two up, it won’t be long until I get sucked into the mix. He’d probably play nice until we were all together with no parent around and then kill us both at the same time, like a two-for-one sale.”

About the author:
Owned and managed by dogs for most of his life, Dennis shares a home on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with his four-legged boss, Sally. Together they pursue their interests in wooden boats, fly fishing, chasing down obscure historic sites, and hiking to remote places just for the fun of it.

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