Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grandma Gertie and her best friend Marilla

Dear Diary,

I was ten years old when my grandmother Gertrude was eighty and she ran my school bus off the road by repeatedly smashing her Ford Pinto into our crowded, moving, yellow vehicle. She then burst from her car in her apron and flowered smock, sporting a short, white, old lady perm and a hand gun and forced the bus door open. She gave the frightened, shocked bus driver a dirty, hard look through her coke-bottle eyeglasses which magnified her eyes three times their regular size and which were fastened to a thin chain around her neck. All the children were petrified, frozen in their seats as she grabbed my hand and yanked me away.

Once we were both inside her car, she roared back onto the road, straight to her house. I didn't ask any questions. With Grandma Gertie, it was always best not to know too much.

"A bank was just robbed down the street from my house," she volunteered. "And I need you to be our alibi. The police have been hounding me for years regarding several hold-ups in the area."

"Where were you when the bank was robbed, Grandma?"

"Where do you think? You think banks rob themselves?"

"Was Marilla with you?"

Marilla was Grandma Gertie's best friend.

"Why do you think the police suspect us?" Grandma Gertie responded. "During the robbery, she was using her damn walker."

At her house, we quickly set up a game of bridge with Marilla, and my grandmother cheated. When the police finally showed, I told them we had been playing for hours. When the police detective asked if I was Eric, the little boy who had just been abducted by an armed elderly woman off a school bus, we all made a run for it, but didn't make it very far as Grandma and I had to wait for Marilla to find her glasses.

In the police station, as we waited to be interrogated, Grandma fell to the floor, in convulsions. I screamed for help. My grandmother was dying right before my young, innocent eyes. Marilla was soon on the floor as well, also in convulsions. When they both lay motionless, they were loaded onto an ambulance. I bawled as I waited for my parents. My two best friends in the world were dead.

That's when I heard an ambulance siren approaching. I ran outside as the ambulance from before barrelled onto the police station parking lot, colliding with police cruisers. The back door flew open, as Grandma Gertie reached out to me from inside. I latched onto her hand and she pulled me in. Marilla was at the wheel, scraping past electrical polls, trees and more vehicles. At the hospital, once the paramedics had exited the ambulance, the two had commandeered the vehicle and rushed back to scoop me. We were now heading to where the money was hidden.

We parked the ambulance at the mall and my grandmother and Marilla spent their newfound booty on things such as hard candy, salted black licorice, Bengay, denture cream, lottery scratch cards and both signed up for a Readers Digest subscription. They bought me things as well, mostly socks, before speeding back to Grandma Gertie's house where both ladies baked me some rock hard bran muffins and then torched the place, to get rid of all the evidence they said. They left me on the front lawn for my parents to pick up as they both drove away in the ambulance, the siren still blaring. I miss my Grandma Gertie every day.

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