Cell Foes

January 14, 2009
By
The aroma of pancakes and freshly squeeze orange juice seeped through the cracks of Dante’s bedroom door. The antagonizing smell indicated that it was indeed Saturday, but more importantly a well-deserved weekend. Dante sprang out from the warm security of his bed, as if it was Christmas morning. He nearly tripped over the wash basket of clothes that his mother recommended he put away last night (now he could see why). After stumbling a few steps, he regained stability and proceeded on his path toward the stairs. The buzz of the family room television became more prevalent as he approached the stairs.
“Today expect a high of 73 degrees with a little chance of a shower,” boomed the T.V. Dante hopped down the stairs with surprising poise and then planted his enormous feet onto the hardwood floors of the kitchen.
“Good Morning, Dante!” said Mrs. Duke with a beaming smile.
“Hi Mom, what’s for breakfast?” replied Dante.
This question was somewhat rhetorical but Dante asked it in order to generate conversation.
“McDonalds, at the corner of Interstate 12,”
said Mrs. Duke sarcastically.
“No, it’s your favorite, pancakes and fresh orange juice from mother’s kitchen,”
“Ah, yes the weekend breakfast,” added Dante’s father as he entered the room

Both Dante and his mother were startled by the sudden entrance of Mr. Duke, who was in interesting attire. He had a robe that hadn’t fit him since college and an oddly patterned pair of boxers.
“So Dad are you applying for a Tommy Hilfiger modeling job or what?” said Dante sarcastically.
“Well, I though today I would reminisce about my college years, seeing as how you are going to be in college next year,”
“Honey, don’t you think that you should put some real clothes on when going out to get the paper? We don’t want the neighbors to think you are some sort of straggler from the city,” said Mrs. Duke firmly.
“But…college…reminisces…glory days,” choked Mr. Duke.
“Honey for the sake of humanity please don’t go out in those 70’s boxers and robe!” boomed Mrs. Duke.
“…Ok I give,” chuckled Mr. Duke.
“I jus wanted to see your reaction to the clothes,”
Then the room became awkwardly silent. Mr. Duke began to walk up stairs and change into proper attire. At the same time, Dante caught sight of the delicious breakfast currently awaiting him on the kitchen table. His stomach began to growl with great intensity.
Dante sprinted towards the appetizing array of breakfast items. The pancakes were literally stacked over Dante’s head. Nevertheless, he abruptly sunk his fork and knife into the moist layers. The butter dripped from the top of the pancakes and the syrup oozed from the inside of the cakes. He could feel the pancakes slide down his throat and into his empty stomach. In a hurry, Dante practically inhaled the breakfast so he wouldn’t be late for the football game that he and his friends had been planning since the summer.
“Bye Mom, have a good day and I’ll see you later tonight!” while embracing her with a large hug.
“Have fun and make sure to call me when you find out what you’re doing tonight!”
“I’ll make sure of that!” replied Dante as he threw a sports bag over his shoulder.

Dante scurried out of the kitchen and opened the garage door rapidly. He snatched the car keys from inside his blue jeans and unlocked the car. As he opened the trunk to store his football equipment, an uninviting smell arose from the car. He had forgotten to wash the inside of his car this weekend. The smell was mostly likely due to his friend Jim, who had left a subway sandwich in the back seat. Squeezing his nose and opening the rear door, Dante managed to pull the molded concoction out from its prior location. He quickly disposed of it in the nearest garbage bin and was finally ready to go to school.

The ride over to the football field was nothing exciting. Dante passed by the same landmarks he usually did on this trip. As he began to get closer to town, traffic gradually increased. The cars were now moving slower than the pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. In light of his distaste with the current situation, Dante excessively beeped the horn of his SUV. Drivers in front of him responded with multiple bleeps, although not due to their horns.

The ride was almost over as Dante pulled onto Main Street and followed this to the football parking lot on the side of the high school. Dante pulled to the nearest spot and parked the vehicle. Arriving at school was somewhat of a relief. Dante slung the sports bag once more onto his shoulder and walked towards the field. Simultaneously, he locked the car from a distance.
“Hey bud, how’s my bro?” shouted a familiar voice adjacent from Dante.

“Well if it isn’t Jimbo, who decided that the back of my car would be more useful as a garbage can,” Dante snickered.

“Yeah sorry ‘bout that. It didn’t do any harm to the plastic leather, right?”

“No but my car smells like mold now,”

“Well if that’s the worst thing that happens, you’re in good shape!”

“Let’s just go out on the field and settle this Jim,” teased Dante.

“We shall then!”

Both of the boys began a brisk jog and met the rest of the group on the field. The boys organized teams and finally began the game. Dante’s team managed to have mostly high school athletes, which ultimately gave them the advantage to begin with. Dante was more athletic then Jim, but the game was still competitive. However in the end, Dante’s group pulled off a victory.

Dripping with sweat, Dante walked in stride with Jim as they exited the stadium. For a moment or so there was silence, but the conversation erupted.

“Good game Jim, didn’t think you could keep up with an athlete,”

“Yeah well I’ve been training with Rocky and Mr. T. Next time you won’t be so lucky,” said Jim with a grin.

The boys knew that the night life was still ahead of them. They quickly switched their subject over to tonight’s plans.

“So what are you doing after this?” asked Jim.

“I dunno, maybe go home and sleep,”

“On a Saturday?” implied Jim.

“Well ya know we all need our rest,”

“You sound like my mom and that’s not a good thing,”

“Okay smart guy, what are your outstanding plans tonight?”

“Well it just so happens that are distinguished butts have been invited to a bonfire,”

“And when was this?” Dante said curiously.

“This Friday we were invited. And by the way you’re future girlfriend will be there,”

“First off I haven’t even given her the slightest hint that I like her and if you’re trying to make this event seem more appealing, then your doing a pretty damn good job of it,”

“I know, I try. But honestly will you just go and do something more productive that sitting on your sphincter,”

“Okay, okay. I’ll go to the party. Just let me go home to take a shower and I’ll meet you by your place at around 7,”

“See, I knew you’d come to your senses. Give me a call when you leave your house,”

“I’ll talk to you then!” boomed Dante as both of them had moved towards their respective cars.

The sun dipped behind the clouds as night crept upon the town. Dante squealed the tires of his car as he pulled the car into the garage. He carefully assessed the space next to him so he wouldn’t hit his mother’s car. The car just barely managed to fit, like always, and Dante leapt out of the car after it was in the confines of the garage.
He opened the door to the house and was immediately met by his mother.

“Dante, your father and I have to leave town for the night. Your great aunt is very sick and we need to leave for her place immediately. We’re leaving you in charge of the house for tonight.”

“But I had plans...”

“We’ll you can still go but just make sure that the house is locked up,”

“Ok, I’ll make sure,” grunted Dante.

At this time a loud thumping noise came from the stairs. Revealing himself a few seconds later—with a handful of suitcases— was Mr. Duke. He weaved back and forth, trying to find some equilibrium while carrying the cases.

“Little help…Dante” spouted Mr. Duke
Dante rushed to his aid and managed to lift most of the suitcases on his own. It was quite a feat, although most underestimate his true strength. He then took the lead and proceeded to his mom’s car. The trunk to the car was already open, so he tossed the bulky bags into the back.
“Thanks son, I would’ve thrown out my back if it weren’t for you,” said his dad while patting him on the back.
“No problem Dad,”

“Honey, the cars packed up. Let’s get going,” shouted Mr. Duke to the Mrs.
Mrs. Duke appeared from inside the house and walked towards the car. She went up to Dante and embraced him with a warm hug and kiss on the cheek.

“Have fun tonight and be safe!” were the last words that Mrs. Duke spoke before climbing into the passenger seat of the car.


She beamed a smile at him once more, as the car started and the Mr. Duke backed out the car. Mr. Duke then pressed the button from inside the car and the garage door shut. Dante went back inside and ran upstairs to get dressed for tonight. He rummaged through the large assortment of clothing in his closet. Finally, he threw on a nice button up shirt with some blue jeans and strolled downstairs. Dante grabbed his keys, wallet, and cell phone off of the counter. He then walked to the garage door once more.

“Make sure to lock up,” loomed the words of his mom.

Dante had forgotten all about locking up and didn’t bother to check the rest of the house for security purposes. He simply locked the door to the garage and went on his way.
The car was his key to freedom this weekend. The party was moments away now. Dante felt this sudden burst of energy. He had no idea where it came from, but it felt great. Once more he started the car up. As Dante backed up onto the driveway, he picked up the cell phone to call Jim. The phone rang as Dante drove through the neighborhood and onto the main road.
“Hey Dante, is my bud on his way over yet?” answered a cheerful Jim.
“Well yeah but I need the address to the place where we’re going to be at?” laughed Dante.
“I have it right here. It’s...1423 Cherry…” as Jim began to cut out.
“You’re breaking up and I can’t here a word you’re saying,” added Dante.
“Jim, are you there? Jim?” repeated Dante.
“18 Ridge Circle is where it’s going down,” mumbled a very unfamiliar voice.
“Do you have the right stuff to break in with?” asked a new ominous voice.
“Crow bar, gun, and a car is really all you need. Maybe a few things to break the windows”
“Well, when are we doing this? Later I assume,”
“No this one’s going to be earlier. The parents are gone and the son just left the house,”
“But boss isn’t that a little too risky,”
“Shut up and listen to me. We’re gonna meet here pronto and you better get your sorry little a** here or else you’ll end up like your cousin Lou!”
“Ok boss…”
“Meet here at 7:30 and we’ll go from there,”
Both men ceased to talk, meaning that the conversation was now over. Dante remained silent the whole time the two men were on the line. The address mentioned in the conversation was his house! Dante was now in a state of panic. His breathing slowed and heart was pounding at his chest. He quickly turned the car into a fast food restaurant parking lot. Refocusing his efforts, Dante picked up the cell phone once more. He speed dialed Jim’s number.
“Hey Dante, we got disconnected or something but anyway,”

Dante immediately interrupted what Jim was about to say.

“Robbers are going to break into my house tonight, I need you’re help!” shouted Dante.

“What the heck has gotten into you?”

“I’m on my way to pick you up, I need help with this!”

“Take it easy, Dante. What are you talking about?”
Dante took a deep breath to regain composure, and then began his explanation.

“Well, when we both had our conversation disconnect, I was transferred to another line. The line was between two men who I didn’t know. They mentioned my address and said that around 7:30 they are going to rob my house. They didn’t give any further information about their intentions other than that.”

“How do you know this isn’t a prank by one of your other friends or something?” inquired Jim.

“This was no impersonation, it was a real conversation. They mentioned using a crow bar and gun to break in. I wouldn’t be this concerned over a prank.”

Both boys paused to catch their breath, and then Jim continued on.

“So just call the cops and we’ll go to the party,”

“Yeah do you really think they are going to believe a seventeen year old kid who tells a story like that? What are they suppose to do? Are they going to sit there and wait for the guys to show up?”

“We have to go back to the house, Jim,”

“Yeah let’s ditch an awesome party for a phony crime that hasn’t even been committed yet. Dante, I don’t know what’s going on with you.”

“You’re going with me whether you like it or not! I’ll be there in five!”

Dante slammed the phone on the passenger seat and hit his foot to the accelerator. The car sped off and even he was a little surprised at the quick jolt of the car. He drove the speed limit, but only on the main roads. The car pealed onto the side street which Jim lived off of. It wasn’t well lit, so Dante put his brights on. The car moved through the neighborhood as if in a NASCAR race. It had surprisingly good handling for an SUV. At the last second, Dante slammed on the breaks right next to Jim’s mailbox. It was almost 7pm and time was of the essence. Jim sprang out the door no more than a second later. He ran up to the window and into the car with great haste. Dante unlocked the door and Jim entered the vehicle.

“We...going…your…house,” Jim panted.

“Yes,” Dante responded rapidly.

Dante didn’t speak another word. He was focused on driving in general. It was imperative that they got there before the criminals were able to break in. Dante was still unsure of what to do once they arrived at the house. Thoughts of what his mom had said to him before leaving the house raced through his mind.

“Be sure to lock up the rest of the house,”

Dante refocused his thoughts as they pulled on to Ridge Circle. He gradually began to apply the brakes more than usual. Dante even managed to go below the speed limit and look for suspicious activity. The numbers on the mailboxes increased as he passed by them. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen, as Dante counted in his head. A strange white van was sitting right outside the garage of the Duke’s home. Dante had chills trickle down his spine.

“So what do we do now, Dante?”

“The best thing would be to call the cops and then find away to make sure they don’t get away,”

“And how are we going to do that Dante?”

“We damage their van so there is no way of escape,”

“Okay but we have to be sly about the process,”

Meanwhile, inside the house, the two robbers were having a field day.

“Man this is going to be the easiest rip off we’ve ever had!” said the leader

“Yeah boss, the best rip off ever!” said his companion

“Shut up and finish stashing the rest of the valuables in the bag!”

“We’ll throw the HD T.V. on the rollers and then we’re out of this joint!”

“Yes boss!”
Dante and Jim crept around the corner of the van. With a baseball bat in hand, Dante smashed the windshield and windows in. Jim managed to find a sharp object in the law to puncture the tires.

“On the count of three run; one, two, three, go!” shouted Dante

Both Jim and Dante ran for some shrubs in the front of the lawn. As they both sprinted, Jim got out his phone and dialed 911. The operator said the police would be their shortly. Now all Dante and Jim could do was playing the waiting game.

After a few seconds, both robbers emerged from the house. They both screamed at the top of their lungs at the sight of the van.

“Who did this?” shouted the boss

“Over there in the shrubs!” said his henchman
Both of the robbers bolted over towards the shrub. Dante and Jim stood up and bolted for the car. At the same time, a squad car zoomed in from the street, hitting both robbers into Dante and Jim. All was silent, except for the blaring sirens of the police cars.





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