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Rubber Ducky

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Davis sat down heavily letting all the weight of his body and soul crash down on the worn out faux-velvet covered sofa.  His wife, Delia plopped down in the matching club chair.  Exhaustion swept through their bodies, sweat beaded their brows and worry hunched their backs.  Upstairs the racket continued.  Delia wondered how long it would be before the cops would arrive this time.

“I hope soon hon. I hope they’ll be here soon.”  He reached out a hand to her and despite the fatigue she reached out to him and moved to sit next to him on the couch.  The moment she did a piece of plaster fell and landed in the chair.

“Thank you baby.” She patted him on the knee.

“Welcome Del.”  He patted her on the hand.

The noise from upstairs was extraordinary.  All of the neighbors, who lived on the same block as the unattached single family home, could hear the racket as if it were in their own backyard.  Many years ago, when the ruckus first began, the neighbor who lived closest to the retired couple was so tired of being subjected to the repeated screaming and the constant sound of breaking glass and furniture, that they had called child welfare services.  Not long after that initial call, the Solants were visited by every single agency in an attempt to solve the problem.  None of them had the answer.  No one could offer a solution and pretty soon they all went away.  Once the neighborhood realized that no one was going to take the child away or could force the Solants to move, they either got used the whole strange mess or moved away.  Those that stayed knew that the only thing that worked was a visit from the police.  So they didn’t hesitate to call if the noise didn’t die down after a few hours; the Solants just had to keep things…contained until they got there.

The doorbell rang and Davis hollered from the sofa that the door was open.  “Thank you Jesus!” Delia whispered as she flicked off another piece of falling plaster from her apron.  Officer Grayson and his rookie partner, Officer Sayers, walked into the modest home.  When the call came in from dispatch, Officer Grayson, having been to this home on countless previous occasions, knew what to expect and what was going to be asked of him. His rookie partner had no clue.  But on the way to the house, he had been briefed by Grayson and given a file to review.  Sayers thought that it had to be some rookie joke being played on him so he pretended to go along with the whole thing just to get it over with.  He did as he was told while Grayson wound the police car in and out of traffic and down the tree lined streets towards the Solant home.

“Evening folks. How long has it been this time?” Officer Grayson walked in with Sayers standing just behind him.

“Two days, Gray…you want some coffee?”  Delia wearily made an attempt to get up off of the sofa but when Grayson shook his head she gratefully sat back down.

“Two days, why did you wait so long?”  Grayson took off his cap and peered up at the closed door to a room at the top of the stairs.  A peeling yellow rubber ducky sticker still graced the outside of the door.  The moment the officers walked into the house the racket had quieted down…somewhat.  Now instead of the constant bumping and wailing, only a few thumps and a loud gurgle could be heard coming from behind the closed door.

“Well it’s Saturday and cartoons are on so we were…hopeful.”  Davis offered a wan apologetic smile that never reached his weary eyes.

“We were called here for a domestic disturbance.  What seems to be the problem?”  Sayers walked into the room.  A loud thump could be heard from upstairs.  Only Sayers looked up towards the noise.  Davis, Delia and Grayson just looked at one another.

“New kid on the block, eh?” Davis asked Grayson.  Grayson introduced the elderly couple to the young officer with the bright eyes and eager expression.  They knew that look and each of them wondered how long that youthfulness would last.

“Yep, they threw him at me as I was on my way here.”

“Well where’s that nice officer Williams?  She has such a nice soothing voice?” Delia once again tried to get out of the chair, this time Davis assisted her by giving her a push from the back.  The bones in her back cracked as she stood up straight and a welcome sigh of relief came across her face.

“She’s on vacation ma’am.”  Sayers answered.  He was getting a little annoyed and more confused with this cryptic conversation. “Look, where’s this…” he consulted his notes “…Allison Solant? Is she upstairs?”

“Yes, that’s our granddaughter.  She’s upstairs.”  Delia answered.

“It says here in the file she’s…” he consulted the thick folder that Officer Grayson handed him “…three years old…okay come on Allison Solant three years old…what do yall take me for?  I’m as good as the next guy with taking these rookie jokes but how’d they get you old folks in on this one?”

Before anyone could answer a loud wailing scream pierced the air, followed by the sound of something crashing through the window.  Officer Sayers dropped the folder and ran upstairs. He busted through the door with the little yellow rubber ducky taped to it.

“Remember that song I taught you boy!” Grayson yelled after him as he bent down to gather up the folder and papers.  As soon as Officer Sayers had opened the door, a pudgy drool covered hand the size of his entire 5’9” frame reached out and snatched him into the room. The door was slammed shut behind him.

Officer Grayson, Davis and Delia remained where they were and waited for the screams to subside, which they eventually did. Officer Grayson sat down next to Davis.

“I’ll go make some coffee and slice some apple pie.” Delia went off to the kitchen.

“So you did you teach him how to sing the song?” Davis asked.

“Yup, on the way here.  Told him everything. Hope he gets it right, though.  I retire next month, don’t have too much time to train a new rookie on how to handle this.”

After a few moments, the strained tenor voice of Officer Sayers could be heard singing the rubber ducky song while the gleeful gurgle of a rather happy baby could be heard babbling along in tune with him.

 

Bio: As a native of Brooklyn, New York, some of C. A. Griffin’s tales involve her old neighborhoods, while some take place in the unexplored imaginary territories of her “Writer’s Realm”. Writing SciFiAncel K. Houchen entitled “Dark Secrets” which is due to hit the shelves October 2012. Learn more at www.darksecrets.net

 

 

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