Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The Anger Games 9
It wasn't until Friday that Dave found out what his punishment would be. A truck arrived and delivered a large trash bin, dropping it off in the Mancuso's back yard, closest to the basement doors.
"Look at the size of that thing!" Maia exclaimed. "I've never seen anything that big before! What is it?"
Her twin brother, in a superior voice replied, "We have them at school, silly. It's to put lots of trash in. When it's filled the truck will come back and pick it up and dump it."
Everyone looked at Cam for an explanation.
"Dave here has generously volunteered to clean our basement. Haven't you, David?"
Dave's mouth hung open for a moment as he debated asking Cam for that whipping instead, but then his curiosity got the better of him. He'd always wanted to rummage through the basement, spiders or no spiders, and he grinned.
"Oh! Can I help?!" Marcus cried, “You never let us play in the basement!"
"David won't be playing, he'll be cleaning, and he's old enough to know what's dangerous looking or not."
"Whoa,” Hunter breathed. "Jeez Dave, you must have screwed up royally! Last time dad gave me a nasty clean up job like that..."
"Hush you!" Lissie said, brows furrowed, “What's going on with David and dad is their business. Now unless you'd like to take charge of cleaning the garage again, I suggest you mind your own business." She arched her eyebrows significantly.
"Yes ma'am,” Hunter said, a glint of mischief if his eyes as he looked at his friend. Dave would tell him what was going on after Hunter got out of school.
When the kids were out and the kitchen cleaned to it’s usual standards and Lissie had gone to work, Cam up his arm companionably around Dave's shoulders and led him downstairs, around to the left and into the darkest corner of the basement. He handed the boy work gloves, goggles, and something that looked like a surgical mask lined with paper towel.
"This is the worst section, so it makes sense to start here. Hop to it!" He said, handing the teen an old laundry basket and giving Dave a light swat to the backside to get him started before leaving. "Don't forget we have the early bird dinner shift! I'll call you in plenty of time to get washed and changed." He grinned.
Dave sighed and turned on the light, which did little to make the back room much brighter. He shuddered at the sight of the wolf spiders, daddy long legs and spider egg sacs that decorated the rafters. He searched around for bug spray but came up with nothing more than cans of green spray paint and shellac. Armed with those he went to work in the back room, painting and shellacking spiders and sacks with abandon. He opened the small windows when the smell became too strong for him and went to work knocking the petrified spiders and stiff webs off of the rafters with a ceiling brush.
He found an old boom box, plugged it in and tuned it to the most bearable station that would come in. It was country music, but it wasn't that horrible, twangy, whiny stuff he'd grown up on, and he found he rather liked it. He opened the doors leading to the back yard and began to fill the dumpster with old, warped furniture, broken bits, broom handles that no longer had brooms attached to them. Bushel after bushel of broken drywall, wood, and chunks of broken cinder block that to Dave's eye had come from nowhere in the basement.
Before his shift began, Dave had the entire section of the basement done. He looked at it with pride. He was sure that Cam and Lissie would find nothing to complain about here. He wondered if they knew what they had stored down here, and grinned to himself as he thought about the wonderful discoveries he'd made, and his plans for them once he'd gotten the mess cleared up.
Before he knew it, Cam was calling him to clean up. He dusted off his clothes, put them, the gloves and the mask in the washer, then walked into the shower, loving the warmth and grimacing as he noticed the grimy water circling the drain. He couldn't help a laugh when he remembered some bit of trivia he'd heard about how Alfred Hitchcock had used Hershey's chocolate syrup as the 'blood' in the famous shower scene in Psycho. He should have just had Janet Leigh clean out a basement beforehand, in black and white it would have given the same effect.
"Come on, monello! We have to get going soon!" Cam called down.
"Coming!" Dave replied, feeling happier than he had in days.