Download my Graphic Novel! (Based on a true story 😀)
Where Rapid Tornadoes Create Positivity;
The story begins in a small town on the coast. It is a sleepy little place, but it holds a special place for all the kids and their parents, and its people are happy. There’s no bad weather, nothing to ruin things like what happened to one of the towns residents when his brother was young. He remembers how he used to play with his brother in the sand and the waves while they waited for their mother to return home from work. And after her days as a teacher, she would often bring home fresh-baked bread, homemade cookies and even baked goods that smelled wonderful from where she worked. They’d all sit together eating their snacks during recess and listen to music playing through the open windows.
It’s a sunny, breezy afternoon in June. Kids are running around, chasing each other and screaming. One kid runs by wearing bright blue overalls, the same kind that everyone wears at the beach. The child laughs as she runs, holding up a bucket filled with seashells. “I got some good ones today!” She shouts over her shoulder. Her friends cheer her on, clapping their hands to congratulate her. “Hey, I think I hear your mommy calling you! Go on before you get in trouble!” A girl tells her. The boy turns back toward them and looks at them with wide eyes. His eyes widen further as an idea pops into his head. He takes off his shirt and throws it onto the ground.
“No way! We don’t throw shirts onto the ground!” A boy yells at him. “Get dressed, dummy!” He says, kicking it towards the boy’s feet. The boy picks up the shirt, puts it on, and then takes the bucket in both hands. Without saying anything else he starts racing across the beach, the sun beating down on his face. People yell out behind him. He knows they want him to stop or slow down so they can catch up to him, but he doesn’t care because there’s something special about this day for him.
His brother had just been born a week earlier, a tiny bundle wrapped in a blanket held between two women. He didn’t look quite ready for such big responsibilities. In fact, he still looked more like a baby than a baby boy who was only a few weeks old. He cried a lot and wasn’t very friendly at first, and he made a lot of messes that were easy enough to clean up.
As he ran, he looked to see if anyone noticed his brother’s absence. There weren’t many children left at the beach at this time of day. Most of them were busy running around, enjoying themselves. As he neared the end of the line of children that were walking in single file down the beach, someone bumped into him and the bucket fell to the ground. Water splashed all over the place. It was a mistake. Of course it was.
But the child did not cry because the adults told him not to cry. All he did was pick up the bucket and look for the boy who bumped into him. After searching the entire line, he finally found him standing in the middle. The boy looked at him and smiled. The smile made the boy feel good inside. He walked away with the bucket and headed toward the water’s edge.
“Come on!” Another boy yelled at him, trying to push him along with his arms spread wide. “Let’s swim! Come on, let’s go!” He continued pushing and nudging, moving the little boy forward toward the water. When the boy finally reached the sea, he dropped the bucket and dove deep underwater. When the boy came up, he shook his hair out and laughed until the bucket went under again. Then he swam deeper and deeper until he could no longer see where he had left the bucket. He couldn’t find it anymore. He was too far out. He started kicking and thrashing around, looking for something to help him find his bucket. Then he saw something floating near his foot. It was his favorite toy! But now, instead of having a red plastic sword, he had a red wooden spoon and a blue towel to wrap him in and protect him from the sharp edges of the sea floor.
He swam back to shore quickly, dragging the object behind him. When he got back, he climbed out of the ocean, dripping wet and shivering from the cold. He threw himself next to his friend.
“Did you get your toy?” The other boy asked him as he handed him his clothes and towel to dry off. “Nope!” He said with a sad expression on his face. The other boy frowned. “Don’t be sad. Maybe it’s still under the rock we were sitting on. Or maybe you dropped it in the ocean when you fell in. Maybe—” He stopped midsentence and pointed at his friend’s feet. “What is that?” The other boy picked up the item that had caught his attention. It was a yellow, rubber duck. “Duck!”
“Yeah, Duck.” The little boy replied. He grabbed the duck from his friend’s hand and looked at the toy. “Look. This is my favorite thing ever. Do you like Duck? You can have him.” He offered his friend the duck as a prize. The other boy stared at the toy for a moment and then took it in his hands. “Thanks.” He whispered.
A moment later, someone appeared from behind the trees, coming closer towards them. “Hey, guys! Sorry I’m late!” A man wearing a blue polo shirt and khaki shorts appeared and waved at them. His name was Jason, and he was an old family friend. He lived nearby with his wife and son, and he helped run the local fish market every Wednesday morning.
“Hi Mr. Jason!” They all shouted together. “Sorry we lost sight of our things.” Said Jason apologetically. “I know how much fun it is to lose track of stuff.” Jason chuckled, then he put a finger to his lips and told them not to say anything. “But anyway, I brought some fish.” He showed them some of his fish and explained where he bought them. “And if you ever want some more, you can come see me whenever you want! Now, I gotta go. Have fun with your new friends!” With that, he ran back into the woods. “See ya!”
The kids watched him disappear. “Do you think we should ask him for help finding our toys?” The smaller one asked the taller one. “Probably. If you tell him that we’re looking for them. He might help us, if he can. But you’ll have to ask nicely…and maybe take pictures first so we can show them to Mom.”
That’s how the boys found themselves outside the fish market, waiting patiently for the older man. The younger boy kept tugging at his pants legs.
“What?” The other boy asked his friend. “Why aren’t you getting excited? We have so many cool toys. We have the best shark toy here! It’s so cool that we can ride on his back and hold on with our hands…” The boy trailed off when he noticed his friend staring blankly ahead.
“You’re right, buddy. Those are really cool.” The other boy agreed. “I just hope the fishman is nice…or he won’t give us the shark toy…or the dolphin toy. Or maybe he won’t even let us have any toys at all since there isn’t going to be any fish in the store.” The other boy sighed. “Or what if he thinks we stole it.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t have stolen it then, huh?” The small boy asked, scratching his head in confusion. “We wouldn’t have to steal any toys if you hadn’t. Then none of this would be happening. Right?” He looked up at his friend. The other boy hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “Right. You’re probably right.”
They heard footsteps approaching. The men were walking fast and talking loudly, laughing about something. As soon as they got close enough to see what was going on, the boys quickly hid their toy behind their backs. When the older men spotted them, they laughed and pointed at them.
One of the older men walked over with a smile. His name was George. He was the owner of the fish shop. “So, what brings you three here today? Did you come to buy some fish?” He asked jokingly, causing the boys to laugh along with him.
“No, Dad.” One of the boys answered. “Just wondering if there’s any fish here today! My mom says it’s not always possible to get them, but she wants to try it anyway because of our sister and her baby.” George looked at him skeptically. “Is that true? What’s your name? What’s the baby’s name?” He asked the boy.
The young boy gave his father the thumbs up with excitement. “Her name is Rosemary. She’s nine months old! Her eyes have gotten bigger than the size of dinner plates. We don’t know why yet, but Mom thinks she might have an alien inside of her.” He giggled.
George laughed. “Well, that sounds like something you should bring home to your mother. Let her know that we keep a supply of fish for just the right time. I guess she can come by tonight and we can have some dinner with the baby in the living room. Okay?”
“Okay! Thanks for letting us come and play!” They said, turning around and running back to the waves.
It had been almost 2 years since that day. The family had moved their belongings from the apartment to Jason’s house.
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