Chapter 7

Chapter 7

A Chapter by Louis McKraker

“You know the giant Magnolia tree?” I spoke across the breakfast table in a low voice. “The one that goes right up passed the window in Grampa’s writing office?”

“Yeah,” David responded.

“That’s how I will have a look,” I said.

I could tell David had forgotten what I told him while we were in the basement�"about getting to the bottom of Grandpa’s absence. It took him a second to remember. He wasn’t fully awake yet.

He looked as if he had been up all night, having bad dreams again. I have to admit, I was becoming plagued by bad dreams, as well; but my mind now struggled with something even more frightening. Something real

The fact that Grandpa could be a prisoner in his own writing office, or all together dead plagued my mind. It made what dreams I had at night seem less relative or frightening.

For David, however, it was another matter.

I could tell he had been plagued more by bad dreams than by delusions of murder. As young as he is, nightmares are still, perhaps, the most potent thing there is in life. He absolutely hates them, unless they’re alive on the TV screen.

“She’ll catch you, Lori,” he warned.

I quieted him with one finger over my mouth, as Grandma came to the breakfast table.

She sat my plate and David’s, and then she went back for her own. I decided I would consider it. As much time as I now believe she has spent in this house alone, she would have noticed ever little creak.

David was right…

I would need a good strategy.


“I need a huge favor,” I told him, throwing the Frisbee his way.

He caught it and threw it back; but I was staring up at the slightly open window of Grandpa’s office. The Frisbee whizzed right passed my head, finding a spot under the Magnolia again.

“What kind of favor?” he responded.

I grabbed the Frisbee “A huge one,” I reiterated. “You’re not going to like it.”

“I don’t usually,” he said, running up to me. “What’s up, though?”

“I want to climb up the Magnolia, to see into Grampa’s office, right?” I said.

“Yeah,” he returned.

“And I need Gramma out of the house, while I snoop,” I went on. “So I need you to be sick… Like you caught a cold or something.”

“No way,” he refused. “I’m catching a cold just so you can snoop.”

“You don’t really have to get sick, idiot,” I told him. “Gramma just needs to think you are.”

It had been so long since grandma or Grandpa had any kids are ages around that I knew she wouldn’t have anything for him. She would then have to make a run to town. While she was away, getting medicine for poor, little David, I would make my climb.

“No,” he refused again. “It’s Christmas Eve, and you want me to wake up sick?”

“Just for a day.”

“And miss Christmas?”

“You won’t miss Christmas,” I assured him. “You’ll be fine.”

“If Gramma thinks I’m sick, Christmas or not, she is likely to keep me inside the rest of the time we’re here.”

“I need your help, David,” I said. “Grampa may need your help, too.”

He grabbed the Frisbee from my hands. He didn’t like the idea. He didn’t like the idea at all; but something told me he wouldn’t let me down. He hasn’t yet.

“Okay,” he said reluctantly, turning to walk away. “But it’s really going to cost you.”

“What are your terms?” I submitted.

He turned back to me, an insidious look in his eyes.

“I want your Christmas money,” he said.

“What?” I responded in a shocked voice. “I have almost all of it left… Almost a hundred dollars.”

“I know,” he said, flipping the Frisbee around in his fingers. “And I want all of it.”

“Yeah right,” I scoffed.

“You don’t even really like Christmas,” he challenged.

And that was true.

“I don’t,” I agreed. “But I like it when Mom and Dad give me money.”

“So do I,” he smirked.

“No way,” I refused.

Angry with him, I turned to storm off. I only got about ten feet before I stopped in my tracks. I reminded myself I needed in Grandpa’s writing office, which meant I needed grandma out of the house.

I couldn’t believe David was shaking me down like that. His terms were steep; but if I wanted him to cooperate, I knew I would have to pay up. “Fine,” I said, as I turned to walk back to him.

“I’ll give you the money,” I agreed. “I don’t have it with me, though.”

“I know you didn’t,” David replied. “You wouldn’t bring that much money on vacation. Especially when you’re visiting someone who’s rich.”

I had to admit, if only to myself, David was figuring me out fairly well. I considered, someday, he may even have the say ability as me and Mom, when we communicate without saying a word.

For now, though, I just saw him as a little dork that was shaking me out of nearly a hundred dollars.

“So, you will do it?” I asked one last time, extending my hand.

“I’ll do it,” David affirmed, shaking my hand. “Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up with a cold. I don’t like the idea; but I’ll do it.”

© 2019 Louis McKraker

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Added on November 10, 2019
Last Updated on December 6, 2019


Louis McKraker
Louis McKraker


My name is Louis McKraker. I was born in Central Alabama and began writing at age nine. I don't have much to say about myself, except I'm a Piscean. I prefer poetry over prose. I love storytelling... more..

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A Chapter by Louis McKraker

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A Chapter by Louis McKraker