Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SKULDUGGERY (09/01/16)
TITLE: Smarter Than Mom?
By Joe Moreland
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“Come on Matt! Hurry up!” His sister, Brynna, shouted. She was a year older and always thought she could boss him around.
“Yeah, Matt! Come on!” Alyssa was younger than both of her siblings, but she always took her sister’s side.
Matt squinted his eyes against the glaring sun and took off towards the ramp. Just as he was gaining momentum, he saw their mom running out of the house. He stood up on the bike, leaning all of his ten-year-old weight into the ride. Mom began to angle herself towards the street and was soon standing between her daredevil son and his launching pad.
“Stop!” The veins in her neck were popping out. Matt skidded the bike to a stop inches from her outstretched hands which immediately took hold of the handlebars.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Matt looked to his sisters for help, but they were now standing on the sidewalk--innocent bystanders.
“We built a ramp and were about to test it out.”
His mom took a good look around. “This? This is what you call a ramp? It’s a piece of plywood propped up on two five-gallon water jugs. MY five-gallon water jugs. Don’t you think it’s possible that these round bottles were going to fly out from under you the minute you hit this ramp? Or is thinking not part of the process?”
Matt stared at the ground. “It’ll work,” he said defiantly.
“Not anymore.” Mom walked over to the plywood ramp and jumped right into the center, breaking it in half and sending the plastic water bottles flying down the street. “Now clean all of this stuff up out of the road before someone runs over it with their car.”
“I told you she’d be mad.” Alyssa said after they had gathered up the bottles and Mom was back in the house.
“That’s okay,” Matt replied. “We just need to get some bricks or something to put in front of the bottles, so they won’t fly out like that next time.”
Brynna snorted. “In case you didn’t notice, she broke the board.”
Matt grabbed the plywood and flipped it over. “Voila! Good as new.”
Alyssa didn’t look convinced. “I don’t think that’s going to work.”
“Sure it will,” Brynna said. “Good enough anyway. Let’s find some bricks...or rocks.”
“Mom is going to kill us if we do this again,” Alyssa complained.
Matt put his arm around his little sister’s shoulder. “She won’t mind if she doesn’t find out,” He said nonchalantly.
“She won’t know if she doesn’t find out.”
“Same thing,” Brynna replied.
“That’s what you guys said about climbing on the roof, too!”
“Yep,” Matt said. “And she wouldn’t have found out about that if our ladder hadn’t fallen down.”
“It wasn’t a ladder. It was a log on top of the doghouse on top of the old rotting picnic table!” Alyssa was getting agitated at the memory of trying to climb that rickety mess.
“Yeah, and if you hadn’t knocked it all over on the way up, we could have used it to get down, instead of having to jump down off the garage and onto the car.” Matt explained patiently.
“Well, actually,” Brynna added, “If we could have just come up with a good reason why the hood was dented, I think we could have gotten away with it.”
“See?” Matt told Alyssa. “If we were just a little smarter, like now, we’d have gotten away with it.”
“How are we being smarter now?”
“Haven’t you been listening? We’re getting bricks.” Matt gave Brynna the she’s not getting it look.
Alyssa shrugged and gave up. “Okay, but I think she’s going to catch you.”
“Why would you think that?” Brynna asked.
“Because she’s watching us from the front window.” Matt and Brynna turned around casually to take a peek. Mom waved at them and then jabbed her finger at the pieces of the ramp.
“Alyssa,” Matt said out of the side of his mouth. “Why don’t you go tell mom your head hurts?”
“My head doesn’t...owww! Brynna!”
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