NOTICE: This piece of fiction is the official sibling (it’s not a sequel; you’ll see what I mean) to my post from Wednesday – It Was Nothing. Which means, you must read that post first in order to understand what is going on in this one. If you only want to read this post, I won’t stop you. You will just be confused the entire time.
It was now midnight and the thunderstorm that was promised on the six o’clock news was just rolling in.
The little boy was downstairs in the basement; his parents had gone up to sleep.
As the little boy’s parents climbed into bed, the father reached over to turn on the radio. He did this every night. Neither he, nor his wife, could fall asleep without some quiet music in the background.
…out of love, I’m so lost without you…
The dulcet tones of Air Supply were coming through the radio. A subtle reminder of how close the Wheel Of Opportunity was to landing on the father’s favourite punishment: “Listen to a CD of Dad’s choosing”.
He rolled over to face his wife.
His wife had nicknamed him “Garlic” back when they were dating. She thought it would be funny if their couple nickname was “Honey Garlic”. She was the only one who thought that, but her husband grew to accept it. Marriage.
“We need to think of stricter punishments to put on the WOO next friday.”
“Oh? Like what?”
“I don’t know. Something different. Maybe I’ll Google some ideas.”
“Yeah, because if you type in ‘punishments to include on the Wheel Of Opportunity’ you’ll get a million ideas.”
The sarcasm in the room was thick.
The stubbornness was even thicker.
“Honey, do you know where my phone is?”
“Ah, I must’ve left it in my jacket. I’ll be right back.”
The little boy’s father made his way downstairs and to the laundry room closet, where his jacket was hanging.
He opened the closet door and started to reach into his jacket pocket when a loud crack of thunder hit. Ever since he was a little boy, he’s been known to be to be startled by loud unexpected noises. This was no different.
He jumped and threw his hands in the air, inadvertently hit pieces of the old vacuum, which were sitting on the shelf above the coat rack.
It all came tumbling down.
He quickly closed the door and tip-toed upstairs as fast as he could.
“What was that!?”
“We are getting rid of that old vacuum tomorrow!”
“What did it ever do to you?”
“I heard the thunder and jumped and threw my hands in the air and kinda sorta knocked it off the shelf and it fell on the ground. Then I fled the scene like a bank robber.
“And you married me anyways!”
Before either of them could say anything else, they heard footsteps coming up the stairs of the basement. Their son! He must be going to check out the noise, they thought.
The little boy’s mother was about to open the bedroom door, shout down to him, and tell him what the loud noise was. Her husband stopped her.
“No! I have a better idea. Just wait.”
The little boy’s father peaked his head out the bedroom door, watched his son emerge from the basement, and listened as he went to the laundry room.
“Come on son, open the closet…open the closet…” he whispered to himself.
“Good boy…opening that door slowly, as if you’re in a movie.”
A couple of minutes went by before the little boy emerged from the laundry room and went back down to the basement.
The father went back in the bedroom and told his wife the plan.
“Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to go downstairs to the laundry room and get the pieces of the vacuum that fell and bring them up here.”
His wife wasn’t following.
“Then! Then, in the morning when we ask our son if he knows what the loud noise was that was right after the clap of thunder, he will tell us it was the vacuum in the laundry room closet.”
“When that thunder struck, and you jumped, did you hit your head too? Are you concussed? What are you talking about?”
“Hear me out. When he tells us it was the vacuum that made the noise, we’ll be like. ‘What vacuum? We got rid of it months ago!’ It’ll be like a little prank, which we will eventually call a life lesson, and one day may even call a punishment on the WOO.”
“Love you, too!”
He left the room and proceeded to put his plan into action. Before he got to the stairs, his wife opened the bedroom door and loudly whispered to him, “Bring back the shelf, too.”
His wife was a genius.
The shelf was easy to remove. All he had to do was slide it out of the wedges in the wall.
Once he had the shelf out, he picked up the brush and put it in his pocket. Then he picked up the metal broom and hose extension and made his way back up to the bedroom, which could now be classified as “mission control.”
He returned with the items, put them in the closet, and got back into bed. The dulcet tones of Air Supply were still coming through the radio – it was a marathon of their greatest hits.
The next morning, the plan unfolded exactly how the little boy’s parents had planned.
A stunned 10-year-old stood in the middle of the laundry room. There was no vacuum and there was no shelf.
“Wait…”, said the little boy.
He opened the third cupboard.
The pair of underwear was still there!
He had no idea what to make of the situation.
“I heard the noise. You both heard the noise. I saw the underwear and vacuum and shelf. But now…now there’s just the underwear. And there’s no way the underwear made that noise…”
“See son, this is what happens when you stay up so late. You start seeing things. You’re a growing boy, you need your rest. The noise was probably nothing.”
Leave it to mom to throw in a life lesson out of nowhere.
“Yeah, it was probably nothing.”
The little boy left the room; his parents celebrated with quiet screams and frantic double high fives that missed their mark every time.
“We did it, honey!”
“We sure did.”
“Hey, maybe next week we can sneak into his room while he’s sleeping, remove his bed from the room, replace it with a tent, and then put him in the tent! He’s a heavy sleeper, he wouldn’t wake up!”
His wife gave him the look.
“Oh, come on! It’s a modern day approach to parenting!”