I’m a little late on this, but here’s the second half of “Screwed Up,” using Apollo, a character from H/V. The first half can be found here.
“Kyle, I just need to know that when it’s your turn to pick up Apollo, you’ll pick him up.”
We’ve finally gotten back to me, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. “I could,” I say, my voice very quiet, “you know, just walk home or take a bus.”
Nobody hears me. They just keep arguing as if I’m not here.
What they do hear, what we all hear, is the monster-like groan coming from the other room. My first thought is that the machine he was building has turned Brendan into a werewolf or Godzilla, but the pops and fizzes that follow it mean something else.
I reach the door first, but Mom and Dad are right behind me. The machine crumples in on itself, just like I worry I’m going to do all the time. Electricity crackles around it.
Brendan runs towards us. “In the office! It’s going to blow!” He dives through the door, just as the machine explodes, sending pieces flying everywhere. Dad grabs Mom and pushes her against the wall next to the window, shielding her from the debris.
And I just stand there watching it. A piece of metal zips towards my face and nicks my temple, but I’m too mesmerized to even flinch.
I wonder what it was supposed to do. Not this.
When things have settled down and Mom has finished screaming at Dad, she wipes at my temple with a tissue. “You’re going to ruin your looks, and then what can you rely on?”
I didn’t even know I had looks to rely on. She’s always nagging about them.
Dad and Brendan dig through the debris and try to figure out what went wrong, but Mom’s decided this is enough excitement for one day and drags me out of the workshop. And I do mean drag because I’m still watching Dad and Brendan and wondering what could have caused the machine to implode like that.
I drop the screw on the floor before we get to the door. It feels like it belongs in here.
You know, I can’t even tell you where I got it from.
Hope you enjoyed. I don’t know how sleight-of-handy it was, but it was fun to write.
Lots of love,