Scratching Stones

June 14, 2010
By , Gainesville, FL
I sat down on the bottom step of my babysitter's oak porch, and squinted against the bright sun. Quickly becoming exhausted by the heat, I leaned my elbows onto my pudgy knees and then cupped my chin in my hands. In front of me kids between the ages of four and eleven were playing in the grassy lot. My older brother Daniel, and my younger brother, Adam were among those kids. Daniel was throwing a football back and forth with his friends, Tommy and Brock, while Adam was playing tag with a group of five-year-olds.

After minutes of watching everyone play, Alex Brokavich stepped in front me, blocking the sun. “Hello, Matthew,” he smiled slyly at me.

I got a queasy feeling in my stomach as he looked down at me with his beady black eyes and devious smile. Every time that smile appeared on his thin face, it meant he was up to something. Last time he smiled at me like that, he got me in a load of trouble. He told me that when you point your middle finger at someone, it means “What’s up!” I found out the hard way that it meant the exact opposite. When I pointed it at Mrs. Jeanie, the babysitter, she got really mad and made me sit in the corner of the kitchen for two long hours. When my mom finally arrived to pick me up, Mrs. Jeanie told her what I had done. I tried to convince both of them that Alex Brokavich told me what it meant. They both told me that I needed to quit blaming other people for my mistakes. When I got home, my mom told my dad, and then he spanked me until I screamed for him to stop. After this, he carried me to my room, yelled at me some more and then told me that I couldn’t have dinner that night. That’s the story of why Alex Brokavich is evil.

“Hi Alex,” I said as I stood up. Alex Brokavich is a little shorter than me, so I could feel the sun kissing the top of my pale forehead.

“How are you?” Alex Brokavich asked casually as he stuck his bony fingers into his jeans.

“Good,” I said through my teeth, becoming nervous.

“That’s good, that’s good,” he muttered as he looked around cautiously. He then bent over and picked up a stone. He examined it in his palm, and then glanced towards the driveway. “Hey, come with me for a moment,” Alex Brokavich coaxed.

“No way,” I chuckled as I took a step back from him, nearly tripping on the step behind me. “I’m staying right her,” I announced.

“Come on,” Alex Brokavich begged. “It’s nothing bad.”

I looked at him as if he were crazy. My eyes drifted from his eyes to his hands, which were toying with the stone. I swallowed. “I’ll come, but if you do anything- or if you try to get me to do anything bad, I’m leaving.”

Alex Brokavich smiled and then started walking towards the driveway. Before I knew it, we were standing in front of Mrs. Jeanie’s gold Jaguar that had just gotten a new paint job one week ago. Alex Brokavich looked down at the rock and then at me. “Mrs. Jeanie told me she wanted me to tell the best artist outside to decorate her car with a stone.”

I looked at him suspiciously. “Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yeah I’m sure,” he affirmed.

I looked at him and then put the meanest expression on my face that I could manage. Being a bit taller than him and having some meat on my bones, Alex Brokavich must be somewhat threatened by me, no matter how tough he thinks he is. “If you’re lying to me-”

“I’m not lyin’!” he exclaimed as he pressed the stone into my hands. “Go ahead. Here, I’ll be back in a couple of minutes to see how you’re doin’,” Alex smiled and then left me.

I stood there alone looking down at the stone. My heart was racing and my head was aching. It would be fun to scratch metal with a rock and watch the paint crimp over. I closed my eyes as I imagined it. Suddenly, it felt as if I was hit hard in the chest with a kickball. I couldn’t do this. Alex Brokavich had to have been lying. Slowly, I dropped the stone and watched it roll around my feet.

“Matthew!” Mrs. Jeanie shouted from the porch. Alex Brokavich was standing right beside her with his thin arms crossed and a smug look on his face. She then came racing over to the car. She ran her fingers down the smooth surface. After she confirmed mentally that there was no damage on this side of the car, she went to the other side; the side that I couldn’t see. She suddenly stopped. “Matthew Bean,” I heard her say under her breath.

A sharp chill hissed down my spine. I forced myself to walk to the other side of the car to see why she was breathing so heavily. I froze when I saw it. The car had been scratched in many different angles with stones and rocks. All of the scratches were of different lengths and different depths. My heart felt as if it were going to explode From my head to my toes I was trembling, knowing that I wasn’t going to be getting out of this one; I had been blackmailed by a true mastermind.

“Why?” she asked me in hoarse voice, not even looking at me. She was still mesmerized by the vandalism on her Jaguar and couldn’t peel her eyes away from it.

“I didn’t do it,” I gasped as I looked at Alex Brokavich, who was still standing next to her. He had a look of disappointment on his face, going along with his little act perfectly. “Alex told me to decorate it, but I didn’t…I don’t know who exactly did it,” I told her truthfully.

“I am fed up with your lying,” she hissed as she wrapped her pencil thin fingers around my thick wrists. “You’re mother is going to be ticked when I call her at the office.”

“But I didn’t do it!” ‘I screamed as she dragged me towards the house. Everyone playing in the yard had turned their attention to us. “Daniel, tell her I didn’t do anything,” I cried out to my big brother, hoping that out of the kindness of his heart he would save me.

Daniel just shrugged his shoulders; he hadn’t been paying attention to me.

After Mrs. Jeanie got me inside, she forced me to sit in the kitchen corner as she called my mom. And hour later, I was sitting in my moms car being screamed at.

Once again, Alex Brokavich had tried to get me into trouble. Once again, Alex Brokavich had found success.

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DanceAway This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm
I like the story, but what I don't like is there is no solution or ending, it jsut ends the same way it started, with the main character losing. I wish the main character could have won somehow!
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