The Courageous Club Pilot

May 3, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Fort Worth, TX 1970
The Courageous Club: Pilot

Allen Atkinson laid on his bed looking up toward the plain ceiling and tossing up a baseball. “One month through summer,” he thought, “And I’m already bored.” He caught the ball and threw it up again. “I guess I really haven’t accomplished much. I found that dead possum,” he smiled as he remembered and then laughed. “Too bad it wasn’t dead.” His younger sister, Alice swung open the door to his small room and said, “Are you still lying around? Mother is going to put you to work if you don’t start doing something. That garage looks pretty dirty.” “I don’t have time to do that,” replied Allen still tossing up the ball. “Oh, you’re right. I can see that this place is much worse than the garage.” “What are you doing then?” asked Allen. “Playing with my dolls,” she replied in her cute little voice holding up one of them. “Really? Because it looks like you’re bothering me,” said Allen. “Fine then, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when mom comes in here and makes you clean the garage.” Alice trotted away closing the door behind her. “What else have I done?” he thought to himself again. “Added to my coin collection, built that model SBC-3 plane, and gone swimming a little,” he answered. “But that’s boring stuff. I really haven’t done anything else? I can’t even remember the month of June; it just flew by. Sure once school ended I was really excited, but then you just get use to summer and can’t help but be a little lazy sometimes. I really need to find something to do for the next two months.” He looked around his room and wasn’t impressed. “I should clean this place up,” he told himself, “I can’t even see my floor.” And so he did and found the work to be easier than he thought and was soon finished. “Boy,” he said looking at his clean room, “You know you’re bored when you voluntarily clean your room in the summer time. Why don’t I just take a bath?” “That would be a wonderful idea,” said his mother walking in from the hall. “I was joking, Mom,” said Allen. “Well, all the same, you need one. But it looks like you’ve done a good job here, and I didn’t even have to tell you anything,” said Mrs. Atkinson, “I was going to tell you to clean the garage but I can see you’ve done enough for one day. Why don’t you go outside and play?” “There is nothing to do outside,” replied Allen. “What about Anthony next door? Go play catch with that baseball,” suggested Mrs. Atkinson. “I don’t know, only two of us?” “Well, Bert and Alec don’t live too far away. You and Anthony could walk over and play a real game.” “We would need at least ten players for that and a field.” “Well if nothing else then accompany your father to the bank because I don’t want you just sitting around.” “I do like banks. There’s always a cop with a gun around.” “Good, he’s leaving pretty soon so get ready.” “Okay,” replied Allen.

Allen walked downstairs and found his father in the kitchen. “Hey, Dad, I understand you’re going to the bank?” “Hello, son, that’s right, I’m fixing to leave now.” “Can I come with you? Mom says I should do something and get out of the house.” “She’s right, and sure if you want to come, why not? We can even set up a savings account for you,” said Mr. Atkinson, “Let’s go.”

When they arrived at the bank, Mr. Atkinson got in line and Allen’s attention immediately went to the policeman and his gun. He wore his name on his shirt, Officer Goodman. “Good afternoon,” said the officer smiling. “Afternoon,” replied Allen, “Have you ever had to use your gun?” ”Yes, every now and again, but not too often.” The officer pulled out the gun for Allen to see and then returned it to the holster. “Wow,” said Allen, “Thanks.” He got in line with his dad and looked around at the rest of the bank. There were some offices and rooms off to one side and the water fountain. Then the tellers and the vault were in front. “Hey, Dad? How does a vault lock?” “I think this vault has a timed lock. It opens at a certain time and closes at a certain time,” replied Mr. Atkinson. “Cool.” Allen looked around some more and saw a bald man nosing around examining the tellers and the vault in the back. He then got out a piece of paper and drew on it occasionally looking up. Allen’s heart pumped with excitement as he thought of an idea. ‘I’ll bet he wants to rob the place. Yeah, that’s why he’s looking around and writing stuff down.’ Allen’s quick mind thought some more. ‘Maybe he will come back some time in the night with his accomplices and rob the bank! But how would they get in the vault?’ “C’mon, Allen, we’re next,” said his father walking to a teller. “I’d like to deposit this check and set up a savings account for my son,” he told the teller. “Very well,” replied the teller. Allen noticed the bald man was gone and he quickly jerked his head everywhere until he finally spotted the bald man outside getting in a black car and driving off. “Dar n!” he whispered. “Sign here, Allen,” said his father and he obeyed. While Mr. Atkinson finished the transactions, Allen ventured back to the police man and asked, “Did you see the bald man looking around?” The officer replied, “Yeah, you noticed too, huh? His name is Phil Malone. We got a record of him down at headquarters. He’s been coming in here for a few days now.” “Why don’t you bring him in for questioning?” asked Allen enthusiastically. “Well he hasn’t really done anything illicit yet. But I’m thinking something is coming. I just don’t know when or how,” replied the officer. “Allen?” called Mr. Atkinson. “Coming,” replied Allen thanking the officer and returning to his father. “Interesting,” he said rubbing his chin.

Mr. Atkinson pulled into the driveway saying, “Don’t you feel good about your new savings account, son?” “Honestly, I’m not sure what that is but I’m glad I have one,” Allen then got out of the car and walked across the grass to Anthony’s house. He knocked and Anthony soon came to the door. “Hey, Ace, what’s up?” “Are you still calling me that?” “When you win every game of tag and hide ‘n go seek then you’re getting a nickname that matches,” replied Anthony. “When you put it that way…” said Allen smiling. “You want to play catch or something?” asked Anthony. “Maybe, what were you doing?” “I was listening to the radio. I guess I’m pretty bored.” “Not just you, lately, I’ve been more bored than usual,” said Allen. “I guess we are just running out of things to do,” said Anthony looking down. “Maybe not, when I was at the bank there was a man there looking at the vault and acting suspicious. And then the officer told me that he has a criminal record.” “So?” “So I think that guy wants to rob the bank.” “Okay, what does this have to do with being bored?” asked Anthony. “Wouldn’t it be exciting if we caught him?” “Oh, c’mon, Ace we are just kids.” “Let’s go inside and talk about it,” said Allen. “Okay, c’mon.” “Hello, Mrs. Peterson,” said Allen politely seeing Anthony’s mom dusting some shelves. “Hello, Allen, say are you and you’re parents going to the fireworks display tomorrow night?” “Oh yeah, tomorrow is Independence Day! And yes,” replied Allen. “That’s good; it’s always a lot of fun. I read in the paper it’s supposed to be the biggest turnout ever. The whole town is coming,” said Mrs. Peterson. “C’mon, Ace,” said Anthony running upstairs to his room. “I’ll see you later, Mrs. Peterson,” said Allen following Anthony. “Okay, so suppose that he is going to rob the bank. If you want to catch him then you need to know when,” said Anthony. “You’re mom just told us when. I can’t think of a better time to rob a bank then when everyone in town is at a fireworks display across town,” said Allen. “Say, that makes a lot of sense. But how do we catch him?” “All we have to do is tip off the cops so they will be waiting for the robbers.” “Hmmm… Might work,” said Anthony smiling.

The black car pulled into a cheap motel and Phil got out walking to his room. He found his two cronies there waiting for him. “It’ll be a piece of cake; the easiest bank job ever. That place is laid out so a child could rob it.” One of the others laughed, “Great, Phil, this time we really will be rich because while everyone is watching fireworks, we will be doing what we do best.” “You got your welding equipment ready, Charlie?” asked Phil. “It’ll take me less than five minutes to get through that vault,” said the other. “Wonderful,” said Phil pouring them drinks, “To Independence Day, boys,” he said raising his glass, “the greatest diversion ever!” They all laughed and swallowed their drinks.
The Next Day

Allen woke up about ten o’clock feeling very excited. Sleeping in this late had become the welcomed norm for Allen since school ended. And even he admitted that the slovenly demeanor he had enjoyed in June was enjoyable. He stretched out his arms with a wide yawn and said, “Independence Day,” smiling. He had told Anthony yesterday to meet him outside at ten-thirty so they could walk to town together where the bank was. He got dressed in blue shorts and a red striped shirt and went downstairs for breakfast. He found Alice at the table already with one of her dolls eating some Post Toasties. He poured himself a bowl saying, “Do you carry those things with you everywhere?” “And why not?” she replied. “You should go find a real girl to play with,” suggested Allen pouring in the milk. “I do have a real girl as a friend. Don’t you remember Suzy?” “Yeah, I remember, the one who screams real loud when a plastic spider is dropped on her,” laughed Allen. “That was a nasty joke,” said Alice, her cute voice trying to sound angry. “But funny,” replied Allen, “Hey, how do you get those curls the way you do?” “It’s mainly natural, and mom helps sometimes. Don’t I look perfect?” “No comment,” said Allen looking at the light blue ribbon tied in her hair. “So what are you doing today?” “I’m…” Allen didn’t want to tell his parents or Alice about what he was3 doing. “I’m going to get together with all my friends and play ball,” he said crunching some Post Toasties. “Tell mom and dad that’s where I am,” he said getting up and heading for the door leading to his back yard. “Okay,” replied Alice combing her dolls hair.

From the backyard, Allen walked to the front where he saw Anthony waiting on his porch. “Ready?” asked Allen. “Ready,” he replied. They began the walk into town which wasn’t a very long walk. Once they left the neighborhoods they only had to cross some more busy streets until they were on Main Street. “Here we are,” said Allen reaching for the door of the bank. But it was locked. “Anthony?” “Yes?” “Do banks close on July 4th?” “Yes,” replied Anthony. “Oh well, I guess we will just have to go to the Police Department itself,” declared Allen. So they began the walk to the Police Station. Above Main Street and its intersections hung colorful banners of red, white, and blue which filled everyone who saw them with great pride in their country. They reached the station and climbed the steps leading to headquarters. Once inside, Allen looked around hoping he would see the officer from the bank. Allen approached the front desk and asked, “Is Officer Goodman around?” “Yes,” replied the desk officer, “I’ll get him for you.” A little later Officer Goodman appeared saying, “Hello again, how can I help you, son?” “Well, about Phil Malone, I think I know when he is going to rob the bank. So all you have to do is set up a trap,” said Allen. Officer Goodman smiled and replied, “And when is Malone going to strike?” “Tonight when the whole town will be at the fireworks show,” replied Allen. “Yeah, I never thought about that. I wish there was some way to make sure though.” “There’s nothing to lose if you stake out,” pointed out Anthony. “I suppose so, son. I’ll tell you what, I’ll stake out tonight with some others and we’ll see if Malone shows up. Thank you, boys. Say, are you guys going to the show tonight?” “You bet,” said Allen. “Okay, if we catch him I’ll look for you around the show and let you know how things went.” “Sounds good, we’ll see you later then, Officer,” said Allen leaving with Anthony. “I’ll tell you what isn’t closed July 4th,” said Allen outside. “That Chinese place on Broadway?” guessed Anthony. “No, well that too, but also the drugstore, c’mon I’ll buy us some ice cream,” said Allen. “Race you there,” said Anthony taking off. Allen quickly followed.

“Allen! Alice!? Are y’all ready to go?” called Mrs. Atkinson upstairs. “We don’t want to be late for this, kids,” added Mr. Atkinson. Allen ran downstairs with Alice following in her American Flag dress. “There’s my girl,” said Mr. Atkinson smiling. “Okay everyone in the car,” said Mrs. Atkinson grabbing the sandwiches. “Daddy? Where is the show?” asked Alice in the car. “Where it always is, Benbrook Lake. The fireworks look real nice in the reflection of the water.” “And there is a large field right next to the lake for all the people to sit in,” said Mrs. Atkinson. “The sun is still up,” said Allen, “When do the fireworks start?” “About eight o’clock when it’s plenty dark. For now we will just eat our sandwiches and you can play with the frisbee with Anthony,” replied Mr. Atkinson. “Sounds good,” said Allen watching the beautiful scenery pass them by including the hay bales, horses, and Longhorns as they entered the country. ‘I sure hope Phil Malone goes for it tonight,’ he thought.

When they arrived, Allen’s parents set up the picnic with Mr. and Mrs. Peterson. “Hey, Anthony!” called Allen. “Hey, Ace, you got the frisbee?” “Sure do, did you bring your mit?” “You bet, let’s go find Bert, Alec, and Felix.” “Yeah,” said Allen, “They should be around here somewhere.” Alice found Suzy and they talked about their dolls.

Once the sun had disappeared behind the horizon, and Allen and Anthony were nice and sweaty, everyone returned to their picnics to admire the fireworks. “There it is!” pointed Anthony as the first one went up with an artillery-like screech and exploded into a beautiful blue display. “Wow,” said Allen looking up at it. Then more shot up, and then more until the black sky was lit up like a colorful lamp. About half way through show, Allen saw out of the corner of his eye a shining badge reflecting the light of the fireworks approaching. He had nearly forgotten about the robbery. “Psst... Anthony, Officer Goodman is here, let’s go.” “Right,” replied Anthony. “There you boys are. Good news, we got Malone!” “Did you hear that, Anthony? They got him, they really got him! We were right! Haha!” “Yeah, awesome. We helped prevent a crime!” “Good job, boys, and thank you, Malone will be locked up for a while. Go back and enjoy your show.” “Thank you, Officer Goodman,” said Allen returning to his family feeling excited. Soon, the fireworks grew louder and more frequent indicating the finale. All the people clapped once it had ended. “God bless America,” said Allen.

The next morning, Allen went to Anthony’s house and rang the bell. “I’ll get it!” called Anthony to his mom. “Hey, Ace,” he said opening the door, “What’s up?” “I got an amazing idea last night. You know how we have been bored lately and need something to do for the rest of the summer?” “Yeah…” “What if we start some sort of club that fights crime?” “Oh, c’mon, Ace what we did yesterday was sort of a onetime thing for fun.” “It doesn’t have to be. And it was fun wasn’t it? We could do it all the time and have our own members!” “Okay, every club needs a clubhouse,” pointed out Anthony. “I thought about that too. Old man Johnson died last year. And his barn is still up. Remember how he didn’t want anyone to touch it? It would be the perfect place,” said Allen. “What if it’s haunted?” “Nonsense, now go round up all of our friends that live around here and meet me at the barn in half an hour. It’s out on Watson road near the woods, remember?” “Okay, I’ll be there,” replied Anthony.

Anthony brought eight boys to the barn and Allen was waiting for them. It was a wooden structure filled with hay; there was also a ladder leading to a loft. “Tell us why we are here, Ace,” said Joe. “Yeah, what’s this about a club?” asked Jeff. “Okay listen up everyone,” commanded Allen, “I don’t know if you all have noticed but the summer is beginning to be boring. Lately, I’ve run out of things to do.” Some of the boys nodded in agreement. “So I’ve decided to start a club that fights crime and helps people. Anthony and I helped catch a bank robber yesterday and it sure was exciting. So what do y’all say?” “I’m in, Ace,” said Felix. “Yeah, my mom has been bugging me to get out of the house,” added Alec. Joe and Jeff nodded in agreement. But Isaac said, “No thanks, Ace, I have better things to do.” Isaac left the barn. “How does it sound, Bert?” asked Allen. “Sounds like fun,” said Bert. “Okay then, that leaves us seven boys. This is our clubhouse by the way.” “Hold on, Ace, every club needs a name,” said Anthony. “Right you are, Anthony, I was thinking, The Courageous Club,” said Ace. The boys nodded and smiled. “Yeah, has a nice ring to it, The Courageous Club,” said Felix. “We don’t just have to fight crime either, we can play sports like baseball and football in the field outside,” said Ace. The boys cheered enthusiastically and Ace smiled happily.

And that’s how the Courageous Club came about.

Thusly, all the boys signed an oath of loyalty to the Courageous Club.
Ace Atkinson
Bert Johnson
Alec Hess
Anthony Peterson
Jeff Berman
Felix Ferris
Joe Carson

Pledge we shall be loyal to the Courageous Club in every way and help others in the name of justice with God by our side.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback