OCs: Jeremiah & Micah and Glen & TJ
Written in response to the challenge issued in the Den and in WL.
“Look what I have here, TJ,” Micah excitedly announced.
“Where did you find that piece of junk?”
“On a pile of trash near the antique shop around that bend in the road not far from here.”
“Exactly what could you possibly want with a wringer from an old-fashion washing machine?” On one hand TJ wanted to know; on the other…well let’s just say that this was a ghost with a penchant for mischief.
“To use on Halloween night for a trick. You know, to get back at a couple of our longstanding nemeses.” Due to his friend’s expression of bewilderment, Micah decided to pose a question of his own by way of a partial explanation. “What do you think would happen if you filled a fair-sized balloon with water, tied it off and stuck the knotted end in between the wringers and tricked someone into cranking the handle?”
TJ’s eyes lit up as comprehension dawned. “Any takers would get mighty wet.”
“Yeah,” Micah grinned wickedly. “We just have to camouflage most of this gadget to keep its’ purpose hidden, while simultaneously keeping the crank easy to access. Then we set it up and wait for the inquisitive but unsuspected to take the bait.”
“And we keep it a secret, right?”
“Of course!” Micah declared, feigning indignation. “We won’t set it up near the house where Jeremiah or Glen are likely to see it. We’ll put it down the lane where those young trouble-makers like to sneak up and play tricks on us every year. This year we’ll get them first.”
“I kinda like that idea. It’s really is our turn to get even,” TJ mused. “We can build a hunting blind of sorts to hide in and watch.”
“Hmm, more work! Too bad you can’t turn invisible like me.”
“Although it could come in handy at times, I’m not quite ready to die yet. Which is what I’d have to do in order to pull it off.”
“That proves why it is so important for us to have as much fun as we can while you’re youthful enough to do so, because you’ll probably be a crotchety old man by the time you acquire the state I’m in,” Micah teased.
“I can only hope,” TJ joked in return.
“Okay, you get a bunch of bright orange balloons; the kind that glow in the dark,” Micah suggested, “and I’ll get to work on covering our newly-procured contraption in something black. We’ll build the blind together.”
“Sounds like a plan to me. I’ll just get my keys and wallet.” TJ turned to go back inside. “By the way, do you think we need a sign or something to entice those kids into even touching this thing?” He paused to wait for an answer.
Micah only gave it a few seconds’ thought. “Nay, their curiosity will take care of that. And then there is also the thrill they experience when thinking they’ll not get caught.”
Neither of them seemed at all worried about getting caught for being up to no-good themselves.
The sun had long gone down and the night air was steadily cooling. Micah and TJ sat huddled in the blind waiting impatiently for their intended victims to put in an appearance.
“Maybe this was a dumb idea after all,” Micah groused. “We’ve been here for almost two hours and not a soul has so much as set a foot on this pathway.”
“Let’s just give it another half hour or so, okay?” TJ wrapped his arms around himself in an attempt to ward off the cold.
“No more than that! Beware, my friend, I’ll hold you to it.”
“You’d think with all the work we went to setting this up, you could be more patient.”
“I’ve never had much of a flair for patience. Ask Jeremiah, it really isn’t one of my many skills.”
“Well, it’s not one of mine either. Now stop complaining, numb-nuts.”
“I think that moniker suits you better than me, being as you’re the one who is feeling chilled. Now me, I’m never bother by the weather because….”
“Ssh, someone’s coming,” TJ disrupted his companion’s pending oration.
Both young men instantly sat up straighter and peered into the darkness.
“Shit!” TJ cursed. “It’s old man Bennett with his two grandkids. I better steer them out of harms way.”
“What the hell are they doing in the lane anyway? Nobody ever takes this route on Halloween, except those looking for trouble. This is not a public thoroughfare; it’s private property.”
TJ hushed his friend again, crawled out of their hiding place, brushed leaves off his clothing and walked over to greet the older gentleman. He maintained a friendly chatter as he played the part of a tour guide and led them away from the trap he and Micah had set up.
Settling in again beside his comrade, TJ let out a sigh of relief. “That was close. I’d hate to have to face Glen after a soaking wet man and two kids showed up on our doorstep.”
“Yeah, it wouldn’t take much for him and Jeremiah to put two and two together.” Micah shuddered at the mere thought of how his partner would react.
Each kept their thoughts to themselves as they pensively resumed scanning the lane for intruders. Their efforts were rewarded when two boys in their late teens came into view.
Tj and Micah rubbed their hands in glee as the boys drew nearer.
“Hey Ben, get a load of all these decorations.”
“Hmm, I wonder why anyone would bother decorating this path.” Ben glanced around and saw that the area definitely had a somewhat chaotic Halloween scheme to it. Fake cobwebs hung on the surrounding trees and bushes, and there were numerous jack-o-lanterns dotting the lane; a few even providing a bit of light from the candles flickering in them.
“Maybe more folks take this route than we figured,” Jeffrey mused. “All I know is that it looks kinda neat, especially this thing.”
“What the hell is it?” Ben asked as they slowly walked around the transformed wooden washing machine.
“Whatever it was before, it now resembles a large black cat,” Jeffery declared, a touch of wonder in his voice. “But this crank is an interesting addition. Wonder what it does?”
“Let’s find out,” Ben declared. He put down the brown paper bag he was carrying and started to slowly turn the handle sticking out of the cat’s ear.
“Hey, the long orange tongue is retracting. Keep turning it, Ben.”
When the crank became harder to turn, the boys drew nearer to get a better look. Suddenly there was a loud pop and water blasted outwards, drenching both of them.
“What the….?” they sputtered, wiping the water from their faces.
Looking down at the front of his jacket, Jeffrey exclaimed, “We’re soaking wet!”
“Figured that out all by yourself, eh Einstein?” Ben sneered. “I’m outta here man. I just wanna go home.”
“Shouldn’t we warn the other?” Jeffrey asked, glancing back the way they’d come.
“Na, we found out the hard way so let them do the same.” Ben answered over his shoulder as he trudged away.
TJ and Micah waited until the path was clear and then re-set the trap. TJ grabbed up the paper bag and followed Micah back to their hiding place.
Five minutes later, two more teenage boys appeared only to take off in the same condition as their friends had several minutes earlier.
TJ checked out the bag he was holding. “There are two dozen eggs in this bag. Better here than smashed on the fount of our house. Looks like we outwitted the vandals this year. I think we can consider this a successful night’s work,” he declared as he slapped his friend on the back.
“I agree. And I think it calls for a high-five, don’t you?” Please when his hint was acted upon, Micah merrily suggested, “Let’s head for home.”
Meanwhile, Jeremiah was relaxing in front of the fire in one of two high-backed leather chairs with a snifter of brandy in his hand. There was a whiff of cigar smoke permeating the study. It was definitely a man’s room. A large mahogany desk was the focal point, ceiling to floor shelves lined the wall behind it, and French doors that by day looked out over an expanse of leaf-covered lawn that blended into the forest beyond. At the moment, only a reflection of the room appeared in the glass.
“Well that’s done for this year,” Glen stated as he walked in from the hall. “I’ve shelled out to the last of our little trick-or-treaters and turned off the porch light.” He took his seat across from Jeremiah and picked up his brandy. “Now we just have to wait for our partners to come home.”
“I am trying to decide if I should be looking forward to Micah’s return with eagerness or dread,” Jeremiah commented somewhat ominously.
“Why’s that?” Glen smiled knowingly and studied the other man over the top of his glass. He no longer saw Jeremiah as a ghost, finally being able to see and accept the man as he once was and currently is. Jeremiah was now his friend and fellow-Top.
“I can help wondering what kind of mischief my boy is up to this year.” Jeremiah snubbed out the butt of his cigar in the ashtray next to his chair.
“I think we’re about to find out,” Glen declared at the sound of the back door slamming shut.
Moments later, two Brats energetically entered the room and all but launched themselves at their respective Tops.
“You smell of the fresh autumn night, my love,” Glen murmured as he buried his face into TJ’s jacket. “With a touch of damp soil and decaying leaves.” His eyes twinkled when he smirked teasingly at the man on his lap.
“You would too if you’d spent most the evening hiding out in the undergrowth beside the path.” TJ struggled out of his jacket and dropped it on the floor. He glanced pointedly at Glen drink and was pleased when it was passed to him. “Mmm, that’s the best way to warm up one’s insides. Thanks, sweetheart.” TJ expressed his gratitude after draining the glass. He snuggled down in an attempt to get warmer on the outside.
Micah was already buried in is lover’s arms. He groaned inwardly when he heard a question he rather preferred remained unasked.
“So just what did you do for excitement tonight, Micah? Why would it involve being hidden? Were you scaring people again?”
“I’m also interested in hearing about your adventures,” Glen informed his partner. “Maybe it will help clarify parts of the disjointed, somewhat one-sided conversation I had with Mr. Bennett’s grandchildren. They babbled on about green and orange florescent cobwebs hanging in trees, glowing pumpkins winking at them and a giant black cat they weren’t allowed to pet. Do you know anything about that, TJ?”
TJ breathed out a deep sigh and glared at Micah. He knew beyond a doubt that his co-troublemaker had no intention of speaking up. Somehow TJ had let himself be coerced into being the one to tell all.
Mustering as much courage as he could, TJ own up. “We decided that this was the year we’d get even with the rotten kids who egg our house every Halloween.”
Realizing he was not going to be interrupted, TJ continued, slowly but steadily confessing all he and Micah had done in order to get their revenge. “We even brought home the eggs they were planning to throw.”
Glen and Jeremiah stared in what would prove to be feigned astonishment at first their own partner, then the other’s partner and finally at each other. They appeared to be silently daring one another to speak first.
“Well,” said Glen, “it certainly looks as if you’ve accomplished your goal as no one has pelted the house this evening.”
Anxious to find out just how much trouble they were in, Micah quietly stated, “We didn’t actually frighten anyone. We just soaked them.” He waited nervously to see what Jeremiah had to say.
“One can’t very well criticize success, can one?” Jeremiah mused. He was still mulling over the story told to them. “I can’t think of any rules that have been broken.” He glanced at Glen for support.
“That’s true,” Glen seriously concurred. “Who would have thought it was necessary to forbid them to drench anyone in such a manner.” He merely shrugged his shoulders and returned Jeremiah’s wink.
The older men’s unexpected bursts of laughter clearly indicated that neither of the younger men were in trouble.
Glen eventually stopped laughing and wiped his eyes. “You boys do realize there’s a chance that next year may bring a payback even more ruthless than egg-throwing, right?”
Jeremiah rolled his eyes at his Brat’s open-mouthed expression of disbelief. “There’s almost always some form of reprisal to be expected, Micah. Just be forewarned.”
“Oh, we’ll be ready for them,” Micah confidently assured them, “No matter what they do to us, we’ll be able to come back with something far worse, right TJ?”
At their partners’ puzzled demeanor, TJ went on to explain. “Micah showed me some stories he’s been reading on the internet about taffy-covered onions.”
“Don’t you dare!” roared two suddenly angered Tops.