|Posted by SOJA on June 2, 2012 at 2:45 PM|
As Solomon and Charlie continued to avoid conversation on the road, they got lost in their own little thoughts. Solomon thought of his job as he played more Steely Dan while Charlie thought about how many drawings of new mythological creatures he can make that popped inside of his head. Charlie moved from the front seat into the backseat to lie down and stare at the roof of the truck. This was a lot more comfortable and less awkward.
Charlie began running out of creatures to think of and decided to listen to the sounds around him. He could hear Solomon humming to his song, the light tapping on the truck door, but what was the most prominent sound was the humming that the truck gave off. The humming was starting to get to Charlie’s head and make him tired again. He began to close his eyes and started to dream.
Charlie awoke in a world that looked like a water-colored portrait. He could hear the wind blowing as his hair got into his face. Charlie got up slowly and looked at the whole water-colored world around him. As he saw the people before him, something caught him off guard. Charlie was hit in the back of the head by a child version of himself trying to get away from a group of people. These people were carrying knives and torches in their hand. As soon as Charlie started chasing after them all, he felt a giant hand on his face.
Solomon’s huge hand was shaking Charlie’s head; the cold hand took the teenage boy by surprise which made him jump.
“We’re here partner. Welcome to Scottsdale, Arizona. Or what I’d like to call, ‘The Devil’s Toenails’.”
Charlie creased an eyebrow at his uncles little joke as he looked all around the new neighborhood. It was hard to see what with the heat of the sun beaming on his sweaty pimpled face. What he managed to notice were people walking around were wearing hot pants and short shirts. Though what was mostly noticeable was that most of the people were white. Not a single other race was shown in town.
Solomon opened the back of the pick-up truck and started taking out the luggage. He heaved two luggage cases on his shoulders like a giant.
“Sheesh what a show-off…” Charlie mumbled to himself.
He got in the back of the truck and wanted to be bold. So he lifted up two huge bags to see if he could be as strong. Trying to copy his uncle, Charlie fell almost head first to the ground, but was caught by Solomon.
“Careful now, boy! You coulda cracked that skull like an egg. Now don’t push yourself. You’ll throw your back out and that’s the worst feeling.”
Solomon picked up Charlie and hoisted the two bags on his back like they were nothing.
‘How is it that the old man can lift like The Hulk and he looks like Santa Claus?’
As Charlie was being carried into the house like a toddler who just had a fit, he saw a couple of girls pass them in the sidewalk and turned as red as a tomato when they burst out into laughter.
“Ugh…” Charlie hid his face by tugging his shirt over his head as his body went as limp as a deflated balloon. Humiliation was common for the boy, but this was way too much.
As soon as Solomon and Charlie unpacked, they still didn’t talk that much. Charlie started watching Unsolved Mysteries as Solomon looked completely uninterested in the show while he made a few calls.
Charlie lay down on the couch as he watched the “Moth Man” story. He saw the witnesses and the pictures which made his heart jolt in legitimate fear. The monster was found in various parts of Virginia and as soon as more information on the creature was getting discovered, Charlie was interrupted. Solomon hung up the phone and jumped right in front of the young teenager who had a proposal.
“How bout we go outside and play some ball, eh?”
“But... But I was getting to the good part!”
Solomon rolled his eyes and messed up Charlie’s hair.
“Come on Chuck. Why don’t we just bond a little?”
‘You do want to talk about stuff with him, don’t you Charlie?’
Solomon smiled and went into the cupboard to fetch a baseball and two mitts. He throws one of the mitts to Charlie and he almost falls back from the impact.
‘How strong is Solomon anyway? He could probably pick up half the state of Texas if he wanted too…’
Solomon grabs a cap for Charlie and puts on his own as they go into the back yard to play. Solomon looked just like a child as he grinned at the old baseball in his hand, ready to throw it at his nephew. As soon as he threw the ball, Charlie caught it in the weirdest of ways. He didn’t just catch it like a normal person. He caught in and started spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil in Looney Tunes, then threw it back.
“What in the devil?”
“I was trying to be Kurgan!”
“Kurgan from Highlander? Haven’t you seen that movie?”
Solomon had a disgruntled look on his face and snorted.
“You know! ‘IT’S BETTER TO BURN OUT, THEN TO FADE AWAY’!!”
“I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about.”
“Listen, why don’t I just show you the movie when we’re finished?”
“Why don’t I show you how to catch a baseball? Craziest boy in the world…”
“What did you say?”
“Boy you know what I said.”
Solomon starts teaching Charlie how to throw which feels very nice. As they throw the ball back and forth, they started to talk about Charlie’s parents. Solomon didn’t talk much about it, but when he did, he wanted to drop the subject.
“Why don’t you want to talk about it, Uncle Solomon?”
“It’s just that my brother, Sullivan is very important to me and I’d like to forget what happened to him that day.”
“You act like his death was the only thing you remember about him…”
Solomon then dropped the ball and took in a deep sigh. He looked up at the now purple sky as the clouds started separating from each other.
“Let’s just stop playin’ right now, okay kid?”
Charlie looked at his uncle with anger in his eyes. He demanded an answer.
“Tell me Uncle Solomon!”
Solomon walked into the house and slammed the door on Charlie. Charlie stood there, angered and started kicking rocks at the wall.
“What did I do Lord? What did I say?”
Charlie started looking all around the neighborhood, but didn’t find a soul in sight. He looked into the distance and saw the street lights go on. He saw store lights light up as he back away against a giant tree in the yard. Low and behold there just so happened to be a swing on it.
Charlie got himself on to the swing and started to push himself into the air; back and forth he went, closing his eyes at how comfortable it was not to be on such hard ground. He started to calm himself down as he continued thinking about his dream, but a discomforting feeling settled in.
“How am I going to talk to him…?”