It was an extremely hot day in the small town of Fenley, 102 degrees, even. Most of the families were out in the tiny pools they had bought from the town store by the train tracks. Everyone there
just called it "Shoppies" because the real name of it was "Quarter Bux" and that didn't sound too nice.
While the other families were out playing in the water and staying cool, the Truscott family was staying in the house.
Daniel Truscott stretched his long legs on the fluffy carpet of his house, leaning closer as he stared intensely at the Gamboy he held in his large hands.
"No, no, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOO," he wailed.
Chase laughed, watching her father flail around and make weird gibberish sounds.
She placed her own Gameboy down, cracking her 4 year old fingers. Daniel had finally stopped 'spazzing' as Sarah, Chase's mother, calls it. Daniel spazzes when he loses anything.
"Again, Chacha! Imma beat ya this time, Hunny!" he seemed more determined now than he did when he picked up the Gameboy 3 hours ago.
"Daddyyyyy...! You'll lose! We've been doing this for over two hours, now," The little girl picked up the Gameboy, anyway, the pale silver cable that connected their Gamboy's wiggling as she did so.
"Fine, this is the last game," he said reluctantly, pouting as he turned Chaser Ghosts back on.
The pout sat awkwardly on his face, Chase was sure it would on ANY 31 year old. After a long 18 minutes, Chase had won again against her father.
"Gubbabibbleebubbalubleebibbbb," Daniel spazzed again, setting down the Gameboy.
Chase's childish laughter echoed through the house as she made her way to the kitchen, pouring a glass of orange juice for herself and her father.
"Papaaa~ I got us some juice~!" she grinned, making the words sound sweeter because she didn't ask before she got it.
This time, daddy didn't mind.
"Thanks, Chacha!" He gurgled, gulping down the juice. She smiled at her father, sipping at her juice. Daniel and Chase have been close as far as Chase could remember, they even looked alike. She had her father's nose, his chin, his hands and height, even his feet. The hair and eyes, though, were her mother's.
Chase had one grey eye, one hazel-blue. Her grey eye changed from grey, to blue, to green everyday.
It wasn't normal, no, but she loved it anyway. Setting the glass down on the plush cream carpet, he looked Chase straight in the eye.
"One to twenty, go!" Chase widened her eyes, racking her brain.
This was something they did, he'd ask her to count to a certain number from a certain number randomly.
He called it 'preparing it for school," but she knew it was fun for both of them.
"One, two, three, four, si---" she was about to say 'six' but fixed herself. "five, SIX, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twel--" the doorbell rang, cutting herself off mid-count.
Her father quickly stood, dashing to the door.
"Just a minute, Chacha!" he called back.
The light that slashed into the dim living room was nearly blinding, but Daniel was still able to make out who was at the door.
"Sarah...?! Why aren't you at work?!" he asked, shocked.
"I don't feel too good, I also wanted to go out today," Sarah said, her voice seemed rather flat. The normal shine in her eyes gone.
"Are you OK?" Daniel was some-what panicked. He'd never seen his wife come home like this, and she has never come home early.
"Yeah, just fine~" She replied, the different voice had come and gone.
Her eyes, however, still held none of their usual shine.
"Chaaaaase!!!" Sarah yelled, "Mommy's home!!!"
"MOMMMMYYYYYY!!!" Chase squealed, running through the house and finally making it to her mother.
Sarah plunked into the couch, bracing herself for Chase's tackle-hug. With another squeal, Chase rammed into her mother, hugs and cheek kisses flying everywhere.
"What are you doin' home, mama? It's only three!" Chase said, looking her mother in the eye as she sat on her lap.
"I wanna go out, tonight," Sarah smiled, looking down at her daughter sweetly. With an excited gasp, Chase turned to her father, knowing it was his decision.
Yes, or no.
"I'm fine with it," he said, his brows furrowing. He was clearly worried about Sarah. "Where to, though?" he asked.
"I was thinking Toys-R-Us, then Chuck-E-Cheeze's, then the Waterpark in Hinnington," Sarah laughed, running her fingers through Chase's long, silky, brownish-black hair.
With a nod and some sort of grunt, Daniel made his way to the door once again.
"Let's get moving, girls!" he shouted, teasingly.
"Sir, yes, sir!" the two girls said in unison.
The air was now cool and crisp, despite it being over 100 degrees, earlier. West Virginia usually has weird weather, so this was normal. It was a long walk to the car, it seemed longer to Chase because nobody had said a word since they left the door. The car was a quarter-mile from the house and Chase started to watch her parents glance at each other awkwardly, with a puzzled look, Chase chewed lightly on the inside of her right cheek, thinking. Sarah was the first one to brake the silence.
"Where are we going, first?" she asked innocently.
"Toys-R-Us!!!" Chase shouted to her mother, who was now, way ahead of her.
As Chase galloped next to him, Daniel sighed.
"It's the closest activity to us, currently. We're going to go to the places as we drive by them," he said, nothing but Sarah truly on his mind.
If she was 'sick' why so many activities? Especially without Conner?
As if she read he father's mind, Chase darted to her mother's side, her large, childish eyes finding their way to Sarah's face.
"Mama, why are we going out and having fun without Coco?"
"Conner is with your grandmother, so he's most likely getting as spoiled as you're about to be, your brother's probably having a blast right now," Sarah said, smiling as she took her daughter's small, soft hand in her own.
They finally made it to the van, keeping music playing as they drove to Toys-R-Us. Chase knew her father may cancel swimming, mostly because it was chilly. The sun was shining brightly, and not a cloud in the sky, but still, it was nippy. After a good fifteen minutes, the family made it to the giant toy store.
"Higgablibbindegibicksfulmibluh!!!" she squealed Gibberish in excitement, something she had copied off her father. As she did so, Sarah gave a knowing look and eyebrow-raise to Daniel.
Daniel pressed his lips together and looked away innocently.
An hour passed, making it around 4:32 PM. Sarah wheeled the squeaky shopping cart full of toys to the cash register, the Toys-R-Us bags soon filled with Legos, dolls, hot wheels and other toys.
For both Conner and Chase.
The entire time in the store Chase had been speaking exited Gibberish. As Sarah payed the teenage girl at the register, Daniel adverted his gaze from the total cost of it all, knowing it would build up again at Chuck-E-Cheeze's. Sarah seemed to take a great joy in shopping for her kids, even if the youngest one wasn't with her while she did so. Conner was Chase's younger brother. He was 2, just a month away from being 3.
Chase was four. Conner looked like his father. He had Daniel's rich blue eyes and almost blonde hair that looked red in the sunlight.
Everyone in the family had heritage from everywhere, but mostly Irish.
The family was what was called "Black Irish". Which was extremely pale skin, dark hair and blue eyes.
While nobody in either side of the family was pure Irish, Daniel came close. His grandparents were Irish. Daniel, being tall, and his parents, and his grandparents, made the children quite tall for their ages.
Sarah was only 5'3", though.
Her father and grandfather were tall as well. Tall seemed to run in the blood between the kid's parents.
Except Sarah and her mother, nearly everyone was giant.
As the family entered the car, Daniel started up the car.
"Jikmiberbbb!!! CHUCK-E-CHEEZE'S!!!!" Chase was fired up.
"Calm down, Chase," Daniel said firmly.
"And stop screamed and squealing," Sarah added just as firmly.
Chase's eyes widened, but she nodded obediently.
With another four hours of Chuck-E-Cheeze's, the sun was starting to set. It was now around 9. Sarah said the family could go swimming tomorrow. They settled with McDonalds for dinner.
"We'll go swimming tomorrow and go to the park for a picnic, I want Conner to be there with us, plus, I have news," Sarah said as Daniel drove the family home.
When the family finally got home, it was around 9:43. Chase was fast asleep, and because Daniel didn't feel like walking up the Quarter-mile driveway several times with giant bags, he drove up further than normal, bringing the family near the doorstep. Sarah carried Chase to her bedroom, tucking her in as Daniel brought in the bags. The parents had barely spoken all night, and they kept it that way. Even when the two of them went to bed.
© Copyright 2016 L Hale. All rights reserved.