Uncle Cole told me my Father was a Dhampir, born of a vampire father and human mother. It’s exciting really. My Mom loves Uncle Cole, as do my Aunts, Layla and Jill. I’m Jim. I’m five years old, and the terror of all who meet me according to Aunt Layla. They say I’m a prodigy, and my IQ off the charts, which Aunt Layla blames for my level of deviltry. I don’t think I’m so bad.
“Jim, you scourge of the devil!”
I’m afraid my Aunt Layla has discovered I’ve rearranged her unicorn collection, using a glue I concocted with Uncle Cole’s 3M Trim Cement and gummy bears.
“Get down here, you little shit!”
I hear my Aunt Jill laughing, and trying to calm the raging Layla. She’s a Djinn, a magical being of immense power. She wields no power over me for some reason of my lineage, and I exploit this exception to her continued angst. I love her very much though, so usually I entertain my magical Aunt, evoking laughter and chiding whimsy. Today, my five year old mind craved a challenge. I will be in the imaginary doghouse, Uncle Cole refers to as his hideaway from the female trio in charge of monitoring me. Whenever I do something good, I’m under the influence of my Mom and Aunts. When I screw up, it’s Uncle Cole’s fault; which is why I used the 3M Trim Cement as one of the ingredients. It’s Saturday morning, and Uncle Cole should be here any minute to take us all to Great America theme park. Although I like sleeping in on Saturday’s, I snuck downstairs at five AM to rig up my unicorn surprise
“Coming, Aunt Layla,” I call down sweetly. If I’ve timed this right, Uncle Cole should be ringing the doorbell any… yes… there it is. Being a genius doesn’t always mean building nuclear accelerators like in the ‘Ghostbusters’. Sometimes it involves timing. I hurry downstairs a few seconds before Aunt Layla’s angry summons has my Mom rushing after me from her room to see what I’ve done now. The pot has been stirred, and I must rush to the eye of the storm.
Aunt Jill answers the door, and I see her sneak in a hug and kiss before Aunt Layla sees her. She doesn’t allow any mushy stuff since I came along. Aunt Jill and Uncle Cole ‘wrench’ together at Uncle Cole’s ABC Repair Shop, where Aunt Layla runs the office. My Mom’s ‘Witches’ Brew’ novelty store is in the back section. Mom catches up to me as I reach the stairway landing. Aunt Layla arrives to stand with hands on hips, shooting laser beams out her azure eyes from me to Uncle Cole.
“What have you done, Jim?” Mom asks, putting the Vulcan neck pinch on me.
“Nothing,” I answer, hunching my shoulders in falsely accused fashion.
“Come over here, you little spawn!” Layla gestures toward the living room, where her unicorn collection lay encased in a special crystal and glass display. “You too, Cole, you worm.”
“I just got here, Layla, what…” Cole is protesting as my Mom stops him for some adult yucky hellos.
“Is this something of yours?” Layla asks as we all reach the unicorns, and she holds up the empty economy size tube of 3M Yellow Trim Cement.
Uncle Cole takes the tube from her, but he’s watching me. My Mom gasps, which draws Uncle Cole to my artistic creation. He takes one look, and starts howling in laughter, with Aunt Jill slapping him with one hand, and stifling her own laughter with the other. Mom, however, is looking back and forth from the collection to me in horror. The unicorns have been staged with a colorful mixture of blended gummy bears and trim cement, poking each other with their head horns in inappropriate places, all in a circle of torment.
“Oh… oh my God,” Mom covers her eyes. “I’m so sorry, Layla.”
“It’s not your fault! It’s his accomplice, Amazing Dog Boy!” Layla jabs at the quieting Cole, who suddenly realizes where this conversation is headed.
“Now wait a damn minute, Layla… you can’t possibly…”
“Were you or were you not cementing a transmission gasket in place with that very tube of yellow glop while the Hell-spawn watched on Friday?!”
“Hell-spawn?” Mom graces Aunt Layla with a no longer penitent look, which earns her a quick Aunt Layla warning finger to stay out of it.
“You’ll notice my name’s not on it,” Uncle Cole points out, holding up the tube, only to have it slapped from his hand by the furious Layla. “Okay… he watched me… so now this is my fault? Jen asked me to watch Jim for a few minutes while she went out for supplies.”
“Each time he spends a few minutes with you, he creates havoc for weeks,” Layla is now pointing at her collection with exaggerated sadness.
“You are such a drama queen,” Uncle Cole retorts. “Clean the little glass dogs off, Djinnster, and let’s get going.”
“They’re unicorns, you… you… knuckle-dragging oaf! Clean up is not the point. Jim, aping your every thoughtless deed is the point. You have to be more careful. The boy needs discipline, and a better example.”
“Fine… discipline it is then. Forget Great America, little man. You’ll be cleaning your room and practicing the art of writing as you render the sentence ‘I am sorry Aunt Layla’ three hundred times.”
“Now look what you’ve done!” Aunt Layla heaps scorn on Uncle Cole as I turn quietly to watch the fun.
“But Cole… “Aunt Jill takes his hand, “we’ve had this planned for weeks.”
“Cole’s right, you two,” Mom begins to dissemble my plan. She gestures at my handiwork tiredly. “This… this is just… disturbing.”
Calming down quickly, as Aunt Layla sees the first trip of the season to her favorite amusement park going south quickly, she flips a finger toward the forlorn unicorns, instantly cleaning and arranging them.
“I don’t see why I should be punished for what Cole causes,” Aunt Layla says. “We’ll go to Great America, but Jim won’t get an extra ice cream today.”
“Oh no… not that,” Uncle Cole mocks her comically. “The little bugger plays you three like a violin. We’ll let Layla countermand the punishment she’s demanded; but I’ll think of something for my young sorcerer’s apprentice, come Monday.”
Uh oh, I may have to rethink these humorous exercises. Uncle Cole turns to look at me with a smile not reaching his eyes. He’s well over six feet tall, lean, work muscle strong, and really scary. He wouldn’t hurt me… ah… at least… I don’t think he would. Best I let some time pass before I test the theory again.