By Gail Zuniga
“Frankie, tell me again, why we’re doin’ this?”
“Shut up and go over the supplies again.”
“Pink fuzzy bunny slippers, check, Stuffed Alligator, check. White bean bag chair, check, I think I got it all, Frankie.”
“Good, let’s go,” Frankie said. I started roller skating down the street following him. Frankie on his white ten speed bike and me with a bag slung over my shoulder. The bean bag was heavy but as long as I was following Frankie, the love of my life, it didn’t matter. My free hand reached up and played with the simple heart locket he had given me two years ago. Yeah, so it turned my skin green and made it break out in a rash anytime I wore it. That didn’t matter, I loved it. Someday I was hoping for that jewelry box that would have a beautiful diamond ring in it, but for now the locket was good enough.
Frankie held up his hand and I stopped. We both watched as a huge bouquet of flowers was delivered to the house next door to our target.
“Why don’t you ever get me flowers?” I asked longingly.
“Quiet you,” Frankie said turning his cold hard gaze on me. I laughed and Frankie fought back a smile. We started moving again slowly. The weight of the bag was starting to break my back. I moved slower, but the wheel of my roller skate caught on something and I started to fall forward. The bag was forgotten as I held my hands out to help break my fall. I closed my eyes not wanting to see my impending doom but nothing happened. I opened my eyes to see Frankie’s arms around my waist.
“Thanks,” I said breathlessly. Frankie looked into my eyes and then said, “Why are you so clumsy?”
I straightened up and looked to see what had stopped my wheels. A long forgotten Barbie doll was caught in my skate. I bent down and untangled it. I had never had a Barbie so I put it in the bag and picked it up again.
“Move quickly we’re getting close. Remember what I told you.” Frankie started to walk his bike down the street slowly.
“Don’t worry I remember Frankie. When we get there watch out for the evil monster Sheba.”
Frankie nodded and motioned me forward. As we got closer Frankie ordered me to take off my skates. We proceeded down the street but a terrible flup flup flup kept following us. It stopped every time I turned to see what was behind us.
Flup . . . flup . . . flup. “Frankie I think someone’s on to us,” I whispered tugging on his sleeve. He turned and looked down at my feet.
“Lose the flip flops.”
I smiled and took them off. The sound stopped, whoever it was must have got scared off.
“Now comes the tricky part,” Frankie said holding up his hand. I looked around his arm and saw a great lump lying in a hummock. As we got closer it looked like a great brown bear, but it was just a sleeping bag and then it moved. We quickly pulled out the bean bag and hid behind it. Slowly we inched the bean bag along as whatever was in the sleeping bag turned and snorted.
We made it to the door and ditched the bag. Quickly and quietly Frankie worked the lock and the door swung open without a sound. A huge poster of a man with white teeth and dark curly hair met us in the entry way. Donny Osmond was written across the top in bright shiny letters.
“Now we have to move quickly. You ready?”
I nodded holding up my list. We split up and went to work. One diamond incrusted horse coming up, actually it was glass but that’s sounds so boring. I moved quickly to the cupboard and found it. With my hands shaking I carefully opened the door and got the horse. I tiptoed up the stairs and looked from room to room for the next thing on my list.
I was almost caught when one of the victims put a flat round black thing with a hole in it on an ancient stereo. I quickly whipped around the corner and ducked into another room. Trying to control my racing heart I slumped against the door.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I saw my target. An old cedar chest in the corner was holding my prize. I moved quickly and opened it with nimble fingers, I pulled out the journal full of secrets and stowed it in my bag. My mission was done, now to meet Frankie at the rendezvous point.
I quickly maneuvered my way back down the stairs. A loud roar stopped me in my tracks. I turned slowly my heart beating so loudly in was hurting my ears. I turned and there it was Sheba the monster of all monsters. She may have been small, cute, and cuddling but don’t let her kitten sweetness fool you. I threw the pink bunny slippers and stuffed alligator at her. She ripped them to shreds and kept coming. I was out of decoys. I searched frantically for something anything to appease this beast. Quickly I lunged for a book “How to draw animals.” Maybe she would get scared of the dogs.
It bought me the time I needed. I ran for the door and shut it without looking back.
Giggling I ran for the hide out. Frankie was there sitting by the lamp for his desk with his toy .22 rifle.
“Hey did you get it all?”
“I sure did,” I said smiling throwing down the bag.
“Want to do this again tomorrow at my house?”
“You bet,” I said laughing, “let’s pretend we’re Bonnie and Clyde and will steal your mom’s jewelry.”
Frankie laughed and said, “That’s a great idea. See you tomorrow Celia.”