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Chapter 3 - Smiling buggie stings

 

Chapter 3 - Smiling buggie stings


Even though the whole world seemed to be in summer feelings, Rachel’s Mom was working. Rachel’s Dad had been unemployed for years and could not even remember any more how it had felt to wake up early in the morning, swallow a cup of coffee in one gulp, shower and shave in a second, and to dress as if going to a funeral. At the office, he always had to wear a white shirt and a dark suit.

Once Dad had put on a yellow tie and got immediately reprimanded by his superior. After that he had always worn a grey tie, until one morning he did not have to wake up early any more. The office was downsized, and because Rachel’s Mom had a job, her Dad was laid off. Dad was quite happy about the way life had turned out.



 

Rachel’s Mom was not always that happy. She worked five days a week and during the weekends she often had such a bad headache that when it was over, it was already time to start a new week at work.

 

Today was Friday, though, the last working day for Mom. Her head ached so that she was already thinking of spending the weekend at the shadowy bedroom. Under the cover, in silence, she could relax. But from somewhere far away, a distant memory drifted to her mind, of slow walks in forests displaying shades of green and brown, of feeding mallards at a lake, and of watching flowers in brilliant colours gently sway in the summer wind. Mom shook her head. Off with those thoughts! A career woman does not have time for this – at least when it’s working time.

But now it was four o’clock, time to go home. Mom packed papers in her bag just in case that this weekend she might not spend the entire weekend in bed having a headache, but might actually have some time to read work papers. Papers worth of a few books slipped into the bag. Mom closed to office door and left home.

At the home yard she smelled the scent of bagels. – Oh, blessed Dad, she thought. If there was anything in this world to work for, it would be the aroma of fresh bagels greeting your tired being at the yard. Thoughts of work were diminishing in her mind, when she ascended the steps into the house, placed her bag at the floor of entrance hall, and kicked out her high-heel shoes that always managed to set the soles of her feet in fire after a few hours of using them.

 

Mom glanced into the kitchen. Dad was sitting there at the table. But there was something funny about him. His stare had sort of glazed into the sky. Mom tiptoed to the Dad’s side and said “pooh” in his ear so gently that he was not startled. Only then did Dad wake up from his thoughts.

- Hello, my darling! So good to have you home, greeted Dad, looking as if waking up from a deep sleep.

- Has something happened here, you look so thoughtful?, asked Mom.

- Just thinking. What kind of a day did you have?, asked Dad in his turn.

- Oh, the normal kind. I was running right and left and forward and backward, and at the end I noticed that I was at the same place where I had started, smiled Mom and picked a bagel from the table.

- Have you and Rachel had a guest here? It would be nice for Rachel to have friends visiting, said Mom when she spotted three glasses and crumbs of bagels at the table.

Rachel and her Mom and Dad had only recently moved to Berry Lane, and Rachel had not made friends with anyone yet. Mom and Dad were sometimes a little bit worried about it, but thought that school would remedy the situation. Rachel would start the first year at school in the autumn, and there she would find friends, too, were Rachel’s parents convinced.

Dad did not quite know how to respond to Mom’s question, but then he knew:

- It was a boy from the neighbourhood. Very nice. A little bit shy and silent, but altogether very nice.

- A boy! I would have expected Rachel to become friends with a girl, but if he is a nice boy, then it should be alright. How does he look and how old is he?

- He is about Rachel’s height and age, fabricated Dad thinking of his childhood’s friend.

- Brown hair, and seems to like the blue colour because all his clothes were blue.

- He sounds quite alright. We need to ask more about his family the next time he comes for a visit. I will now go and change, and then I come back for more bagels.

Mom kissed Dad and started ascending the stairs to the bedroom. “A small boy, brown hair and blue clothes. What on earth makes it sound so familiar?”, wondered Mom. “Well, it would come back in due time.”

 

The buggies had toiled hard in building the new queendom. Hundreds of buggies flew in from one window and out from the other in their bold endeavour to create the most noble castle for their queen.

 

Mom stepped into the bedroom. What a huge buzzing filled the room! As if a hundred food blenders had all been set out to work at the same time! The air was dark with buggies flying in and out through the open windows and carrying building materials under the bed.



 

Mom shrieked and rushed out!

- Oh-My-God-What-Are-We-Going-To-Do!, had Mom time to think during her world-record run downstairs. (Even without sound the thought was so loud that it has to be written with capital first letters and with an exclamation mark!)

- Dad! A million buggies have invaded our bedroom!

- What?, Dad immediately sprinted up the stairs and inspected the view opening at the bedroom door.

It was the same sight that Mom had seen. An uninterrupted chain of buggies carrying building materials flew in through one window, and another chain of buggies flew out through the other window, just a little bit faster because the buggies were now lighter. Flower curtains were bordering the windows. On one side the curtain was waving inwards and on the other side outwards like flags in strong wind. So many buggies were in the air that they created a wind!

 

The noise of buggies’ construction site could be heard from under the bed. Dad carefully tiptoed closer to the bed and kneeled to see what was going on. There was a half-built buggie nest that elongated itself from the bottom of the bed until almost the floor. Buggies always built their castles hanging so that you would have to enter through the bottom. How extraordinary!

 

Dad noticed that the buggies had already detected the uninvited human intruder within the borders of their new queendom. Five fat buggies belonging to the Buggy Battalion of Guards were already lining up their stings, and all of a sudden they zoomed into a blitz, directly towards Dad!

A split second later Dad was on the move! He stumbled to his feet and was just at the door ready to slam the door close when the guards caught him. With one mind they targeted Dad’s bottom and stung him.


Buggies’ stings do not have any poison but still the stinging may have hurt a bit. At least Dad let out a piercing yelp and jumped up in the air, and finally was able to shut the door as a barrier between him and the buggies.

 

Behind the door the buggie guards started a triumphant dance for victory! In a moment, the rest of the queendom present in the bedroom joined them! The air was swarming with buggies that performed square dance until quite late in the evening. The queen was still living in the old castle housing her conveniences so tonight there was no one to keep the rowdy lot of buggies under discipline!

 

Dad tottered down the stairs as best he could.

 

- They stung me! At least a hundred buggies attacked me and stung me!, Dad complained to Mom.

- Oh dear, let me see! If the stings stuck in you, we need to draw them off before your skin becomes inflamed.

Dad dropped his pants and Mom checked the sting imprints. There were no stings remaining, but five distinctive points were easy to see. They were in the precise form of a curve that looked like a smile. Mom also felt like smiling because there is quite a big difference between five stings and one hundred stings, but without saying a word she cleaned the sting markings for inflammation.

After that Mom and Dad started thinking of what to do. Mom sat on the kitchen chair and enjoyed some juice and bagels, but Dad was not very keen on sitting down that evening.

The incident was so extraordinary though that Mom quite forgot all about her headaches for the whole weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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