On Sunday afternoon, as I mowed the lawn, I saw Tommy sitting on the front porch of his house. His chair was turned to face the wall. He didn’t have anything with him. No book to read, nothing to draw on, no phone to play games on. He sat quietly, and faced the wall.
I stopped the mower, and asked, “What are you doing, Tommy?”
“I can’t talk, Mr. William.”
I knew that tone of voice, “Uh-oh. Trouble.”
He nodded, but never turned from facing the wall. I noticed his mother peek through the window curtains, to make certain he was still there. She noticed me talking with him, and smiled. I waved. “Yeah. Big trouble.”
“What ‘cha in for.”
“Crimes against the broccoli.”
“Broccoli?” I had to admit, I’d have been in trouble if you get in trouble for not eating that. “You’re in jail for not eating broccoli?”
“Well…” He sighed. “Not so much not eating it as what I did with it.”
“Now, this I gotta hear.”
Tommy made a frustrated face at the wall. “See. Mom was gonna make a broccoli and cheese thing.”
“Yeah. For dinner. She told me to get the broccoli out of the fridge.” He spoke to the wall. “Mr. William? I hate broccoli.”
“I know what you mean. I’m not fond of it.” I paused a moment, “But it is good for you.”
“Yeah. I know.” His arms flopped to his sides, his hands hung down, almost reached the floor. “Well. I took the broccoli out of the fridge alright.”
“Yep.” He sighed. “That’s how I wound up here.” Tommy took a deep breath, and stared at the wall for a moment. “I ran out the back door with it, and threw it over the fence.”
“No! You didn’t!”
“Yep.” He nodded. “I did.” He looked dejected. “I was sure Mom would believe me when I told her I couldn’t find it. I pretended I was looking for it, and when she got to the kitchen she asked me where it was.”
“And you told her you didn’t know?”
“Xacly. I told her I couldn’t find it.” Tommy took a deep breath. “Mom looked at me with those mean eyes. You know. The ones Moms get when they know you’re lying?”
“Yep. Big trouble.” I nodded.
“Then she said, “Young man, what did you do with the broccoli?”” Tommy frowned, and stared at the wall a bit. He sighed again.
“Mr. William? It’s true, ain’t it?”
“What they say about Moms.”
I had no idea what he was about to say, so I had to ask, “What do they say about Moms?”
“Moms are telepathic.”
“Yep.” He nodded as he stared at the wall. “She said, “You threw my broccoli away, didn’t you!” Then, she put this chair right here, and told me I could sit here, and stare at the wall until bed time.”
“Big trouble indeed.” I nodded.
“Yep.” Tommy nodded. “Well. I’m not supposed to talk to anyone.”
“Then I guess I’ll say ‘bye. And hope your sentence ends soon.”
“Bye, Mr. William. And remember. Never lie to a Mom.”
I tried not to laugh. “I’ll remember that. ‘Cause Moms are telepathic, right?”
Little Tommy spent another two hours staring at that wall before his Mom let him get up.
It’s April 24th, and I’m caught up on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 6 more letters to write stories for this month.
Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.