As Walter and Marvin Jid sat in the uncomfortable black booster seats of Dad’s 1984 Honda Carpenter, they innocently listened to their parents’ conversations.
“So, what’s this movie about?” wondered Mom in her high-pitched voice which at one point belonged to a class president.
“Oh, it’s just about this guy who travels through time. Don’t ask me why Marshall wants to see it. It’s pretty surreal, I’d assume, knowing Marshall.” Dad chuckled a bit.
“Where are we going?” Walter curiously asked for the third time.
“I already told you,” Dad snapped, lighting a cigarette as Mom drove, “you and Marvin are going to Grandpa’s house! And I mean Grandpa Milton, since my dad’s in reha—Texas!”
“Okay,” Walter laughed, and Marvin stared at him with his blue eyes. Marvin had always been the more outgoing and practical of the twins, since birth, when Walter was a downright clueless infant.
Mom turned an abrupt left, two cars honking wildly at her. They sped onto a winding dirt road which led to Frisco Country Club.
All of a sudden, the dirt turned into grass, the smog into blue sky. Mom and Dad had reached Frisco Country Club, their last stop on the way to see Back to the Future with Uncle Marshall, Mom’s stepbrother.
A security guard with a badge reading, “DONALD C. UT” stood near a bold green gate.
“We’re here to see the Lymans,” shouted Dad from the passenger seat as Mom rolled down the window.
“Mmkay,” coughed the security officer, and shooed the Jids into an area with enormous mansions made of stone and brick.
“Wow!” Walter yelled.
Marvin shook his five-year old head, his combed brown hair shaking with the wind. “Seen it.”
Mom took another abrupt left turn onto Carver Drive, where the abodes were a bit smaller, and not considered mansions anymore.
* * *
Dad rang the doorbell.
“Hello?” screamed the nasal voice belonging to Walter’s Grandma Rosalyn. Grandma Rosalyn was married to Grandpa Milton. Mom preferred Milton so much over her real father; she named Walter “Walter Milton Jid.” Dad teased Milton quite a bit behind his back, but besides that had a great respect for him that nearly mirrored his wife’s respect for Milton Lyman.
“Hi, Rosalyn!” Dad said, smirking a bit, and folding away his cigarette. Rosalyn’s advanced age had brought her memory loss that was definitely not Alzheimer’s, but still irritating, as she remembered her daughter Wendy’s birth much better than her recent Japanese cruise she took with her stepson Marshall.
“Hello Wayne!” greeted Rosalyn Lyman. Walter was screaming in his mother’s arms—“I wanna see the movie!”
“It’s an adults-only movie night,” Mom lied as Marvin eagerly rushed up to his spoiling white-haired grandmother.
“Yeah, it’s f—PG. Walter can see it with a friend.”
“Who’s that one boy from kindergarten Walter talks about? Lenny? Larry?”
Dad ignored his mom’s curious statement. He turned around and the young parents left Milton’s Villa for the cozy 1984 Carpenter.
When they entered the house, they saw all kinds of lavish portraits on the walls depicting various ancestors and relatives. There was the baby picture of Ursula Myst, Mom’s oldest sister, who had died in infancy, and Valerie Myst, who although being a gorgeous brunette with chestnut hair that perfectly matched her wide eyes, had chosen to be committed to a conservative nunnery—and now studied God under the name “Sister Val.”
There was also a hidden picture of a man no one in the Lyman household dared mention, the man who carried the Spanish name of Myst: Joaquin Tucson Myst. This man had actually sued his wife on trivial grounds—while he was an irresponsible parent. He eventually died in the Gulf War a decade after his wife divorced him. No one had seen him since their divorce; he had just appeared in an obituary. So it goes.
Walter screamed and kicked on the faux bronze floor the second his parents left the home. Milton entered the foyer, as Rosalyn bent down to care for the five-year old.
Milton muttered something under his onion breath that sounded like, “Drat.” He was a rather yuppie-looking man, with combed gray hair and a striped white polo shirt. He carelessly dragged Walter into the closest bedroom, and flicked on the light switch.
Walter’s young eyes scanned the bedroom. This had to be Marshall’s room, as there was a peashooter and ammo on the mahogany nightstand, and posters of two popular sports baseball players: Buck Smith and Bob Cozak. A Jim Soot rookie card hung from the wall as well.
“You’ve gotta stop crying, boy,” snapped Milton. Marvin was nowhere in sight, in actuality being fed frozen yogurt by Rosalyn.
“I can’t!” squealed Walter. “Take me home, Milton!”
“That’s Grandpa!” he snarled. Milton lit a fancy caramel-scented cigarillo and threw it at Walter’s hand. Walter started to cry again.
“Boy, you can’t cry like this. It’s called matoority.” He mispronounced the relatively easy word.
“Grandpa, take me home!” screamed Walter, his eyes reddening as his hand was burnt by the still-existing flame.
Walter ran into Rosalyn’s individual kitchen, where the senile grandmother was fixing Marvin some rich chocolate pudding.
“Grandma, take me home!” he screamed. Grandma stopped spoon feeding, and turned her wrinkled head towards Walter.
“Walter got burnt by my cigarette,” fibbed Milton, after chasing after his grandson. The rest is a blur, but Walter woke up in his own bedroom. It is suspected that Milton put him to sleep—drugged him, not killed him.