Insanity. Sir William. My life, trying to record his insanity. That pretty much sums it up. And as I look back these many years, decades to be exact, at this bizarre, non-human man and his even more ridiculous, marvelous life, I wonder… is there any pie left? CHAPTER ONE: DIRT
Misha hopped down the back steps with the left sleeve of her sweater on her right arm. The other sleeve, confused, dangled down her back. Misha was late. She was always late. I stopped her and crammed her arms into the sleeves, and began the daily drudge to school. I couldn’t believe this girl. It was the same every morning since I had arrived, which was eight weeks, two days, and…sixteen hours ago.
“Momma says a man is moving in the old Woodruff house. She said she met him and that he was really nice.”
Misha never just walked to school, no matter how much I yelled or threatened or begged. Misha twirled. That’s right, my cousin was a twirler.
Rhett-the-rat rode up on his bike. His buddies, his idiots rode with him. Billy Hughes was an annoying pimple-faced kid who liked to spit on things and people, and then there was Myron Milton. Myron was a moron, and now, at the age of fifteen wasted years, he was a monster.
Just as they stopped to wish me, once again, a wonderful, world changing day Rani rode up. She was Rhett’s sister. She was pretty, and funny, and really smart, and I liked her. Rhett, her twin, made fun of her all the time. She stuttered, which he imitated whenever she opened her mouth. “Come on Rani, don’t get ccccclose. You might catch a disease. Like his poor old mmmmmom.” That was it. I grabbed him and threw him on the ground, his bike twisting on top of him. My foot was in the air, right over his ugly, foul, slimy face, and I was ready to stomp, something I never thought I could do. I had never even punched anyone. Not even a wall. Not even a pillow. But now I thought I would explode.
The reality of Myron the moron standing just a few feet away made me stop. “I live to pound people like you,” he said and I think the noise coming from his mouth was a giggle. I wasn’t exactly scared, just well aware of reality, as he lifted me by my shirt and pants leg. With one hand. Right, one hand. I flew into the air and landed against the rugged tree trunk tree, tearing up my elbow. I almost laughed, because Rhett looked worse than I did, especially with snot running down his face. I was going to laugh, as I said, but then I looked at Myron hovering above me, smiling, and I decided to laugh later, maybe Thursday, around seven, after dinner… Rhett stood up and wiped his face on his sleeve. “I’ll get you. You’ll pay. Big time. You know what everyone calls you at school? Orphan boy. Yeah. They laugh, cause you’re a freak. If we pounded you right now and tossed you in the river, no one to care. But you know what?” “What, crap eater? Oh, please, wise one, tell me.” “Shhhut up, Rhett!” Rani moved toward him. “God, I hate you. I’d love to ppppound you to the grrrrround and throw you in a river! You assss!” “Shhhhut up!” Rhett taunted, “I wish you’d dddied when we were born. Honest to God. Mom and Dddad get embarrassed when you’re around. You’re a fffreak just like orphan boy. They make a great little couple, don’t they guys?” The “guys” all nodded like bobble-head dolls.
“Cut it out, Rhett. This has nothing to do with your sister. It’s about you and me.” “Just die. Then your pretty little aunt won’t have to feed you anymore. No more burden, right? Die, orphan boy. Do us all a favor.” “Fuck off!” I’d never said that to anyone before and it didn’t feel good. It just reminded me how out of control my whole damn life was. They rode off and Misha started to cry.
“Don’t do that.” “I don’t want you to die. He’s just the meanest damn boy in the world.” “Don’t cuss. Don’t worry about him and don’t, and I mean this, don’t tell your mom about it. She does not need to be worrying about this snot face. I’ll handle it. Come on. We’re gonna be late.”
I kicked a rock, hard, and it hit another one that went on and on to touch rocks that were next to sand. The sand met the water, the water moved around the world, pushing against more dirt and rocks and trees. And somewhere, where this dirt reached half way around the stupid world, my idiot father was hunting a mythical bird so that he could take a picture of it. Not knowing that I was here staring at the dirt. Not knowing that I needed him, now. But, dirt, being dirt, still didn’t care. And Mom was dead.
CHAPTER TWO: SIR WILLIAM ARRIVES Rani and I were playing with her new puppy. I looked up and a man was standing there, smiling, and just looking at us. I didn’t hear him walk up so I kind of jumped, startled. He wore a heavy, long black coat. “Nice dog,” he said. “Second born, I believe, and weighed the most. Mother had twelve, two died. Happens with dogs.” He slipped his hands in his pockets and jiggled his keys, which was annoying, like broken glass rumbling in your ears. Then he looked up in the trees and saw a squirrel that then ran down, stopped to look at him, and chattered. “Death from above, right? I’m telling you, you squirrels are organized. I bet you know the one at my house. Ever heard of Hilt?” It ran back up the tree. “Squirrels. Death from above, it’s a plot. However, it looks like it’s a good day for a rain, wouldn’t you say, Mac, like rain in South America. Fast, hard, meaning-business kind of rain.” “I’m Rani, I live down that street then two streets down on the llllleft.” “Very nice to meet you. Mac, I met your cousin Misha this morning. She is quite accomplished at the spinning thing. Remarkable. My name is William. I’ve just moved into the house next door and I met your Aunt Maddy. Looks a bit like her sister, your mother, but softer around the eyes. Nose is more like her father’s. Fantastic artist. Imaginative, very talented. She’s worried about the house, though. I’ll have to look into that.”
“Who are you and why are you talking like you know everything? And don’t worry about Aunt Maddy and her house. I’ve got it all under control. Who are you?” “I am, as I mentioned, William. Sir William to be exact, but then being exact, in my opinion, is about as boring as being right, or, now that I think about it, sane. Nice to meet you both.”
He just walked away as if he was normal.. The guy made the air feel itchy, like something was just going wrong, like that feeling you get in the winter when you walk across the room wearing socks, dragging your feet on the carpet, and kick up some static electricity that makes the hair on your neck stand up. And it almost hurts. That’s what he felt like.
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