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Baker's Dozen – A Deleted Scene

Written by argonaut :: [Friday, 14 August 2015 21:58] Last updated by ::

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BAKER’S DOZEN

by Argonaut


AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was originally the opening scene of Chapter 9. Although I wound up cutting it from the final draft, I decided to submit it as a “deleted scene” for readers who might enjoy it.


A Deleted Scene

Bobby took a bowl and a spoon from the dishwasher and opened the cabinet above the kitchen counter. He stared in befuddlement at the empty shelf where the cereal boxes should have been. Raising his eyes, he saw that they were lined up along the top of the cabinet.

Amy, he thought.

He stood on tip-toe and stretched his arm toward the cereal boxes, but they were just out of reach. Scowling, he dragged the footstool over toward the counter and stepped up on it. He was just about to grab the box of Wheaties when an arm reached over his shoulder and snatched it away.

“Looking for this?”

Bobby turned around. Amy was holding up the box of cereal, smirking in that infuriating way that Bobby had come to know only too well. Standing on the footstool, his eyes were nearly level with hers. Amy wasn’t quite as tall or as robust as Cindy, but at six foot two she was far from being the little pipsqueak that Bobby used to enjoy teasing.

“Very funny,” he growled. He reached for the box, but Amy held it up higher, rising a few inches off the floor for good measure.

“Ah-ah-ah,” she chided. “What’s the magic word?”

“Please,” he muttered through clenched teeth.

“That’s better.” She handed him the box. Bobby hopped off the stool and went over to the kitchen table. He glanced at the wall clock. He’d have to eat fast; Kenny would be picking him up in ten minutes.

He poured himself a bowl of cereal and set the box down on the table. There was a picture of Megan Danforth on the front of the box, wearing her cheerleading outfit and dangling a one-ton block of steel from the tip of a finger. SUPER-FORTIFIED WITH 8 VITAMINS!” the box proclaimed.

Bobby heard the click of high heels on linoleum. His mother had come into the kitchen, holding a phone to her ear with one hand and adjusting an earring with the other.

“That was Kenny’s mother,” she said, putting the phone back in her purse. “It seems Kenny took a spill on his skateboard a few minutes ago and she’s taking him to the hospital to get stitches. So he won’t be driving you to school.” She sighed. “Your father’s already left, and I have to meet a client on the other side of town in fifteen minutes.”

She turned to Amy. “Amy, would you mind taking Bobby to school?”

Amy’s face lit up. “Sure, Mom. I’d be happy to.”

Bobby nearly choked on a spoonful of Wheaties. “No!” he sputtered. “I can walk.”

His mother shook her head. “You’ll be late.”

“I’ll take my bike! I’ll run! I’ll --”

“Don’t be silly, Bobby. Your sister can get you to school in just a few minutes. You should be glad she’s so willing to help.”

“Yeah!” Amy chimed in. “You should be glad.” She stuck out her tongue -- unseen by their mother, who was fumbling in her purse.

“That’s settled, then,” their mother said brightly, taking out her car keys. “I’ll be home by the time you get back from school.” She kissed Bobby on the forehead and stood on tip-toe to give Amy a peck on the cheek.

“Bye,” she said, stepping out the door. “I love you.”

“Love you too, Mom,” Bobby and Amy replied as the door closed behind her.

Amy turned to her brother. “Ready?” she asked, grinning.

Bobby stood up. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Aw, cheer up,” Amy giggled. “You should feel lucky to have a super-sister.”

“Yeah, lucky me,” Bobby muttered.

Outside, Bobby shouldered his bookbag. “So how are we -- whoa!” Without warning, Amy had lifted him off his feet and stood cradling him in her arms.

“Not like this!” Bobby protested. If the kids at school saw him now --

“How, then?” Amy demanded. “Do you want to ride piggyback? Or should I sling you over my shoulder like a sack of -- ?”

Okay, okay. Let’s just -- oop!His stomach lurched as Amy shot upward. High over houses and trees she flew, swooping up and down, swerving left and right, her pigtails fluttering behind her. Bobby felt like he was riding an invisible roller-coaster.

“No fancy stuff,” he protested. “Just --”

Fancy stuff?” grinned Amy. “You mean like this?”

She soared upward, then rolled backwards and down again in a loop-the-loop. Bobby’s mind reeled as the world turned upside-down for a moment. His heart was racing and his stomach fluttered.

“Fine,” he told Amy. “But if I throw up, it’s gonna be on you -- literally.”

Amy wrinkled her nose. “Ewww.” But she slowed down.

Soon Bobby was looking down at the flat roof of the school building. A crowd of students were making their way toward the main entrance. From this height, they looked like a swarm of ants scurrying toward their nest. Bobby pointed to the empty football field behind the school.

“You can drop me off down there,” he said.

Amy shook her head. “Don’t be silly. Why should you have to walk all the way around the building when I can drop you off right in front -- you know, with all your classmates?”

Bobby closed his eyes, resigning himself to the inevitable.

Amy descended toward the broad walkway in front of the school. “Coming through!” she shouted. Heads turned, fingers pointed. Instantly, dozens of cell phones were raised toward Bobby, recording his arrival.

Amy set him down and smoothed his wind-tousled hair. “All set?” Bobby nodded grimly. Amy paused to wink at a football player who was staring at her open-mouthed, then sprang into the air and flew out of sight.

Red-faced, eyes fixed on the ground, Bobby made his way to the front entrance, the jeers and laughter of his schoolmates loud in his ears. It was like one of those nightmares where you show up at school in your pajamas. The laughter grew louder and louder, rising to a steady, insistent buzz …

Bobby sat up in bed and pressed the OFF button on his alarm clock. He let out a sigh of relief as he ran his fingers through his hair. Thank goodness, it was only a dream. Amy could talk all she liked about getting super-powers; Bobby was the one person in the world who knew there was no way that was going to happen.

Early morning sunlight was streaming through the window as Bobby put on a sweatsuit and a pair of sneakers. It was a beautiful Saturday morning -- perfect for a run in the park.

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