Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WILD (11/16/17)
TITLE: Truth, Justice and Sleeepovers
By Art Westefeld
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This concern became a self-fulfilling prophecy when Rebecca had to go out to help the Coast Guard with a boat full of smugglers. Being bilingual, she could help the officers with interrogations. He had offered to go with Rebecca, a.k.a. Mariness, but she had reminded him that someone must be there in case of emergency. He conceded that he couldn't just leave the house at the mercy of a group of third graders, even if he wanted nothing more than to escape the chattering kids.
The alarm went off at 6:30 AM, the time he usually got up for his morning run. Even with super powers, he still felt the need to maintain his good physical fitness habits. This morning, though, as he emerged from his bedroom dressed in sweatpants and a favorite old t-shirt, he was besieged by at least eight little girls asking for Loretta’s favorite breakfast, chocolate chip pancakes. As he and Rebecca had anticipated this, she had made a large batch of batter before she’d gone out. He preheated the large griddle, silently bemoaning that with this many kids he’d be lucky to get any pancakes at all, never mind have any for his wife, presuming she got home at a reasonable hour.
After he cooked thirty-six silver dollar sized pancakes, he strode across the kitchen to start the coffeemaker. From the corner of his eye he saw the display on the microwave flash red, A signal that she had made it home, triggering the motion sensor through their open bedroom window. It would be a few minutes before she changed out of her Mariness costume and joined him in the kitchen, so he made a full pot instead of the single cup he’d planned.
Loretta, experienced in keeping her parents' secrets, piped up to keep the other kids from noticing the microwave, “Let's thank the Lord for our food.”
Their neighbor’s daughter, and Loretta’s best friend, Anna Gould added, “We also need to thank God for Mr. and Mrs. Mason letting Loretta have us over for this sleepover.”
Rebecca came downstairs in a robe and her favorite pajamas, a gift from Loretta last year for Christmas. She winced as she stepped on a stray Lego, not having her husband’s invulnerability, and took a cup of fresh brewed coffee and a kiss on the cheek from Rex. She whispered, “Did everything go well last night?”
Rex took a sip of his coffee and murmured, “They kept me up until after three AM, nonstop Disney DVDs. I’m telling ya, sweetheart, I’d rather take on Allah’s Fist with no powers, than do this again with no help.”
Rebecca smiled up at him and asked, “Was it really that bad?”
Rex thought about that for a moment, and decided that being a Christian involved serving others, even a group of a dozen wild seven and eight year olds. He smiled back at his wife and said, “You were out fighting the good fight, but as the Light Force we fight for Truth and righteousness, which includes the freedom for little girls to enjoy sleepovers.”
She kissed him on his unshaven cheek and told him, “You are right, and such a romántico. I promise to be here for the next sleepover.”
Rex rejoined, "Don't make a promise you might not be able to keep."
Loretta interrupted her parents by calling from the table, “More pancakes, please.”
With that Rex hugged his wife as she picked up the bowl of batter and asked, “Sure, ladies. Cuántos do we need over there?”
He knew that this was why they’d started a family, for normal moments like these.
The Spanish words mean romantic, and how many.
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