Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WEEKEND AWAY (short vacation) (07/23/15)
TITLE: Weekend War
By Terry R A Eissfeldt
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But what could I do? I only had them weekends. At least now, in the summer, there are no appointments with dance studios, wet soccer fields, or overloaded homework.
Still I was losing them.
Call me desperate. I admit it. Desperate enough to deceive.
I arrived at their mom’s house at the usual time; Friday 4:30 pm. Right away Rita and Don knew something was up. “No way!,” Don ran over and stared in disbelief as I slid out of the new black Hummer.
“Is it ours?” He stood gasping for breath, twelve-year-old eyes as wide as saucers.
“Sure is!” I spread my arms out like a hostess on a game show, “Brand new state of the art, fully loaded Hummer!”
Rita was still on the porch. If she was impressed it didn’t show. Petulant, proud, and oh so fifteen going on twenty-five.
“Come on, Rita!” Don yelled with enthusiasm I hadn’t heard in over three years. He threw his weekend bag in the back and jumped into the front passenger seat.
“Cool!” His eyes roamed over the state of the art console with everything including satellite link-up.
One out of two isn’t winning. I glance back to the porch and catch Rita head down, phone in hand, thumbs a blazing. I sigh. Not because of where her attention was focused but because of what I was about to do: lie.
I walked up to the porch and waited until she stopped long enough to notice me. She looked up. Her blue eyes were a steady stream of annoyance.
“We really should leave,” I said.
Her head returned to the downward position. Thumbs resumed their lightening pace.
“There’s WIFI on board.”
Boom! Time stood still. She slipped her phone into her bag and headed for the Hummer. There was no sibling squabble over ‘shotgun’. Rita prefered the back seat. Less need to communicate.
I followed and climbed in. The engine started with a grrr. Power and torque. Ready to rock and roll.
We weren't even out of the driveway when she spoke.
“What’s the password?”
“Password?” I asked in feigned shock.
“Yeah, the password for the WIFI,” She was still looking down ready to type in my response.
“Um …” I stalled and stuttered for effect. “I don’t know.”
“What … do … you … mean … you … don’t … know?” She channeled her mom’s ‘Are you an idiot’ mood to a tee.
“I didn’t ask.” I looked in the back mirror to see her seethe.
On target. On time. Carry on.
“Hey, dad,” Don piped up, “I can figure it out. Where’s the manual?”
“I didn’t bring it,” I said lightheartedly, “Thought we could wing it.”
Rita snapped, “What do you mean wing it? Where are we going? We passed the turn to your house.”
“We’re going camping!” I exclaimed.
Two things happened at once. Don cheered and Rita growled. Still only one out of two.
Two hours of NO SERVICE later, we pulled into True Blue Wilderness Camp. I was now at zero out of two due to the only radio stations we could get were country. For some reason the satellite radio didn’t function either.
Things didn’t improve when we all had to hand over our phones, iPods, Mp3 players, etc, on check in.
Once in out room Rita finally blew.
“How could you! How could you bring us here to this barbarian place! I’m telling MOM!”
The ultimate threat.
I smiled and said calmly, “It’s only for the weekend.”
Don joined in, “But what about the football game! I’m going to miss it!”
I smiled and said calmly, “It’s just one game.”
Dinner was quiet but delicious. Rita picked away at her special order Vegan meal. Don slurped and moaned through his steak. My steak was good too but I’m sure the added effects were to bug his sister. She called us barbarians. Must be the word of the week.
Saturday was a tug of war. I tugged and warred with both kids to get them out of the cabin and into activities.
We canoed (Don “This is hard!” Rita, “Dont’ tip it!” )
Fished (Rita “I’m not going to let you kill any fish! Don “I got something!)
Archery ( Don “Hey Rita, you can be like Katniss Everdene!” Rita “That’s kinda cool, let me try!”)
And wouldn’t you know by Sunday no one wanted to leave.
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