Post 70 / Hour 71: Punch Buggy!
By Tonette dela Luna
[Here’s another entry in our third flash humor writing contest — about a favorite violent pastime among bored children in cars: Punch buggy!]
“I said stop it.”
“Aw, come on.” Declan pouted. “This isn’t any fun. All the licence plates have been the same for the last two hours.”
“Yeah, I’ve been sitting next to the same person for the last two hours. Now you know how I feel.”
“Aunt Moira, Ellie’s being mean.”
“And you’re acting like you’re six, which is closer to your IQ.”
“Elouise, that’s enough.” The fact that my mother had to turn her vertigo-ladened head around just to shoot lasers out her pupils silenced me. For now. I leaned as close to the car door as possible. Why did he have to sit in the middle anyway? Never thought I’d miss Owen more than I did just then. My brother was asleep on the other side of Declan, oblivious to the world. Jerk.
Crack of dawn. Open road. Nothing but crops and cow butts for miles. I honestly don’t recall volunteering for this journey of epic boredom, but Mom said we needed to do this as a family. Why was Declan here then? Sure, if you want use ‘family’ in loose terms, he’d be my widely-disliked first-cousin wish-he-was-removed. Our dads were brothers who got along as well as Declan and I did. Still, Uncle Trevor practically handed over adoption papers to us in a ‘keep him for as long as you’d like’ sort of way. He’d even elbowed me in the ribs and said, ‘you could all be siblings. Same last name, already supplied.’ He’d chuckled. A delayed chuckle. And forced.
Why couldn’t we take the minivan instead? What? Maintenance repairs? I would have happily stayed with the van if it meant not being trapped in this cage on wheels for six hours.
“Punch Buggy yellow.”
I sucked the air through my teeth, annoyed that Owen was still fast asleep on his side of this tin can. How did he do it?
* * *
“Uncle Mort, are we there yet?”
“Seriously?” I guffawed.
“Yes, Dec. We’re just about here.”
The car pulled into the massive university campus. As soon as Dad cut the engine, Owen’s eyes popped open, he gave me a wink, and jumped out of the car. That little sneak.
We spent the next hour and helped Owen settle into his dorm room, which, for me, meant dumped boxes in the vicinity of his room to scout for cute boys. Hey, I might choose to apply here next year. I needed to keep my options open. You know, for higher education. With my luck, Declan would follow us here the year after.
* * *
We said our goodbyes and dad suggested we head into town for lunch. Finally, something I could agree with. Happy to have more space in the back seat, Declan started to doze off. For a second, he almost looked tolerable. Then I noticed a familiar logo outside my window. A Volkswagen dealership.
My lips curled into a vengeful grin, my fists primed.
Tonnette dela Luna lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
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