Gift GiverJD Forbes / Horror / Thrillers & Crime
Copyright 2010-2013 JD Forbes
“Hurry up Duane! It’s time to go!”
Mother yells at me for the third time. I don’t know why, but she always ends up yelling at me three times. I finish loading up my backpack with the last of the snacks and hurry out to the garage. I apologize for taking so long then my Mother heads to Chad’s house like she’s in a race car. We all live in the same complex and I didn’t really need a ride, especially one going this fast, but there was too much stuff to lug over there. Especially since my bike was stolen.
On arrival, I thank Mother and grab my backpack and the rest of the gear and head up the front walk. Sunset is not for another three hours and in the meantime the other guys were out back setting up the campsite. I join up with them and start setting up my tent around the fire pit.
“Hey Timmy. You and Boomer are sharing a tent tonight. I hope you brought a gas mask.” Chad laughs at his own joke.
“You better hope he doesn’t like to roll around when he sleeps or you will be as flat as a pancake tomorrow.” Lucas hops up and shakes his butt at Boomer, “Wahoo, Pancakes for breakfast everybody!”
Boomer starts after Lucas and bellows, “You’re gonna be flat as a pancake!”
Lucas is way too quick and nimble for the big guy and the chase is given up quickly.
Boomer huffs, growls and then says, “I’ll stomp a mud hole in your butt later you little weasel.” This only encourages Lucas to turn around and shake his scrawny rear end again. It’s true that Boomer will make him pay later on tonight, but it won’t be enough stop Lucas from baiting him again tomorrow; it’s an endless cycle.
Timmy watches all this with an excited little grin. Timmy was the butt of Chad and Mark’s jokes as often as Boomer and Lucas went at it. Unfortunately, Chad and Mark’s jabs are usually more hostile than Lucas’. Timmy put up with it in his one day at a time sweet Jesus attitude.
The sleeping arrangements were finalized. I was bunking with Lucas which is as it should be. He happened to be my best friend and unfortunately, the real threat of late night gas.
Timmy and Boomer were physical opposites which worked beautifully when tent space was limited. Timmy was the shortest male in our class and surely the skinniest as well. Boomer could easily be triple his weight and has at least ten inches taller than the diminutive boy. Despite their physical differences, they shared a lot in way of temperament as it’s easy to upset either of them but nearly impossible to piss them off.
Lastly, it was no surprise that Chad and Mark were sharing. They were always together, the winning team, Pete and Repeat. When we play three on three, they chose Boomer for his size. When we are paint balling they chose Timmy for his size. They never chose me or Lucas. It was just the way it was, Lucas and I were destined to lose. They are mostly good guys but their Fathers just want them to be on top and push them pretty hard. It seems that when someone gets pushed around a lot they either need to push back or find someone else to push around.
We cooked hotdogs over the fire pit then followed that up with s’mores. You just ate and you want s’mores? A lot of the food ended up on fire, some on purpose and some by accident. Along with the food, we torched the paper plates, plastic bags and anything else we could get our hands on including some of the nearby pinecones, of which we got a few to explode.
Darkness snuck up on us while were screwing around and reminded us that it was time to share some spooky stories. I was looking forward to this part of the night since I had done some research and wanted to see if I could scare the guys. My stories always seem to fall flat and it bothers me. Lucas says I shouldn’t worry about it, but I’m usually good at things I put my mind too. For some dumb reason I always seem to get flustered when everyone is staring at me.
Lucas told his story first. His stories usually had the same feel and almost always started the same, It was a Dark and Stormy night. It continued on about an evil pet store that sold parasitic snakes that had a knack of getting out of their cages and tried to take over people by being creative enough to get inside them. It ended with “… so no matter what you do, make sure you check the toilet for the butt snake every time you have to sit down”.
Chad is all heart, “Ha! I knew you were into butts.”
Mark high fives Chad. “Yeah, you know he likes butts.”
Chad asks, “Are you a butt pirate?”
After they settle down, I jump in and claim to have a good story about an Indian ghost that revenge kills. Indians aren’t petty, but if you piss them off enough they tend to end a disagreement with finality. It does a decent job of scaring everyone but not as much as I had hoped.
Boomer starts in with his story that hinges around hauntingly whispering “it floats”. It was one of those one that repeats itself, building each time, trying to draw the listener in. After the third repetition we are all leaning forward and in danger of slipping off our seats. Boomers yell is nearly deafening and when he yells “IVORY SOAP!” we all jump.
Lucas complains, “What the heck Boomer! That is bull crap. What does that mean? Did the soap get them?”
“I don’t know. My Mom told it to me. But it scared you didn’t it!” Boomer grins and he was right. He then punches Lucas and knocks him right off his seat.
Mark didn’t have anything so, the last story for the night was told by Chad and consisted mostly of a description of a crazy old guy with crazy eyes that lives under a tree that may or may not eat little children or people or whatever. We go along with it, but it kind of seems like Chad was just making it up on the fly. He doesn’t have much of an imagination. It gave us ample time to set fire to the remainder of the paper plates.
Eventually Chad’s Father comes out and yells at us to wrap it up and head to bed. Chad’s Father likes to cuss a lot. We let the fire burn down and got in our sleeping bags. Now begins the part of the night that we tell jokes and talk about girls in whispering voices until somehow we end up asleep.
I wake up to someone yelling. “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” I blink my eyes and look around. The yelling wasn’t coming from my tent which I expected, knowing Lucas. The yelling is coming from Chad and Mark’s tent. It wasn’t quite morning yet, so it was difficult to see, but eventually I could see Mark is shaking Chad. We huddle around them and Chad finally comes awake.
“What’s wrong Chad? What is it?”
Chad shakes his head and wipes off his face. “His teeth are so shiny.” He looks around dazed.
Mark asks, “What are you talking about? What’s going on?”
Chad’s eyes focus as he searches around and fixates on an unfamiliar leather wrapped parcel.
He whispers, “It worked.”
In a trance, Chad unties the thin leather cord then unrolls the leather back to reveal a scoped Remington .243 rifle. Chad finally comes to the realization that he is surrounded by five guys that desperately want to know what is going on.
He says, “I can’t believe it. The old guy came through.” He holds up the gun. “Look at this Shitter!”
Mark says, “Dude! That is bad ass. Where did you get it?” Lucas asks to hold it while Timmy gives it the sideways look of a scared animal. Boomer is wearing a face that is a cross between contemplative and constipated. I’m sure to be slack jawed, what Mother calls is my catching flies look.
“The old guy gave it to me. He said there was no guarantee, but the old guy sure did come through.” He takes the weapon back from Lucas and examines it. “Crap! I forgot to ask for bullets!”
“You are not talking about Santa right?” Lucas giggles at him. “Because you know Santa would have said You’ll shoot your eye out. and kick you in the face!”
Mark asks, “You think he will give me one?”
Like a frightened mouse Timmy warns them, “You shouldn’t take things from strangers.”
Chad responds “No! It wasn’t Santa! It was just an old guy that lives out in the woods. I think he’s some kind of hermit.”
Mark grabs his shoulder, “Yo, Chad! Do you think he will give me one?”
He roughly shrugs him off, “Yeah. Probably. You just say the rhyme. Crap, why didn’t I remember the bullets?”
Boomer comes out his contemplations. “What are you planning on doing with that thing? I hope it’s just hunting squirrels or something.”
The four of us hold our comments and wait for Chad’s answer. He grins a bit too enthusiastically, “Well, I’m not going to use it on anyone unless it’s self-defense.” He seems to realize that he’s got us on edge and quickly smiles and recants, “No, I really wouldn’t do that. This is a varmint gun. It just for small game.”
Lucas pipes in “Okay, great, you’re not gonna kill anyone. What rhyme do you have to say? Like, Star light, Star bright, I wish I may, I wish I might, get a big freaking gun tonight?”
A few of us chuckle at this which derails Lucas again despite his urgency, “You should have asked for Boobies. Oh wait! It looks like Boomer already did!” Boomer punches him in