Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Momentary Thrill Seekers

"What should we call our club?"

The Thrill Seekers, Brenner argued. I personally thought it sounded perverted, and only branded us a group of kids that hid in the closet flipping through dad's secret stash of Playboy magazines, the ones he kept hidden under his mattress. True of course, but why advertise? Only yesterday I had chased my little brother John around the house with the centerfold dangling open, egged on by his horrified screams.

But Brenner was insistent, and being two years my junior at the ripe old age of eleven, he had a need to assert himself; and I felt, as a benevolent big brother, or step-brother as it were, that I should cede a victory once in a while. So Thrill Seekers it became.

We planned to build a tree house out back, where a perfect roost in a tall elm extended like a friendly hand. I could picture it perfectly, and sold my vision to the members of the nascent Thrill Seekers: we would build a base from which we would fight crime and protect the innocent. I showed them how we could build ladder rungs with scrap 2x4's, nailing them into the tree trunk, how we could hang a knotted rope from the branch as well. The corners of the treehouse foundation will go there, and windows will give us a perfect views of the river and down the street. It was so clear.

Then I realized I was assuming that I was in charge, and everyone else had too--except for Brenner, who looked gloomy indeed.

"I think," I said, "that we should decide right now who will be the president."

Brenner perked up. "Yes, that's a great idea."

There were only five of us. My little brother John, Brenner of course, and two neighbor kids Randy and Chris.

Randy said, "Well, I nominate Scott."

"Well I think it should be you Randy," Brenner said. He wore an expression that only I could read, because we knew each other oh so well. I'm gonna getcha.

God I hated him. His soul was a black, rotten, oily, dripping, gangrenous, festering wound. I wanted to smack his face, grab him by the hair and use him as a battering ram through the glass slider, tear his arms off and club him senseless with his dismembered limbs. He was my brother by my dad's third marriage to an ex-Vegas-wannabe-showgirl, now a disenfranchised bar fly, wandering aimless, waiting for a Prince Charming but settled for the frog. Brenner never had a father, but had borrowed mine for the last couple years. At times I felt sorry for him, but there was something deeply wrong with him, something dark. He was the kind of kid that tortured helpless animals, and liked to really hurt people, but he did so in a sneaky way, always leaving some doubt of his intention. Like the time I was looking through a telescope and he hit the other end with a pillow, driving it into my eye socket like a nail struck by a sledge.

We decided on a Secret Ballot. The candidates names were written in multiple choice fashion. When the votes were counted, I had come out ahead, but Brenner took everyone aside and whispered to them, all the while looking at me in sideways glances, smiling from the corner of his mouth that only I could see. A re-vote was called for, and Randy became the first president of the Thrill Seekers.

I was heartbroken.

"All right," I said to Randy, "what should we do first?"

Randy looked down at his feet. "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

"It's your call, not mine."

Randy shrugged his shoulders. "I'm going home."

The innocent would have fend for themselves.

The Thrill Seekers were no more.


mr. schprock said...

Randy had the right idea. Who could repect himself after winning some lame, fraudulent, won-on-a-technicality, hanging chad-type election?

Oh, wait a minute, I know…

Scott said...

Ouch, I just got bitch slapped!

Moni said...

"His soul was a black, rotten, oily, dripping, gangrenous, festering wound." Wow! Stephen King would be proud. Very dark...I like it. ;)

Tee said...

Yeah, that description made me think of that teacher, Professor Severus Snape, in the Harry Potter series. Yuck. So, what became of Randy? *shivers*

This story totally reminded me of my childhood club. We already had a wooden playhouse (not in a tree though.) We drew up a sign. It was myself, my little sister, and a neighborhood girl who was aged in between us both.

If you think the "Thrill Seekers" is a dumb name, you haven't heard of our club... "The Kangaroos"... LOL. It lasted a day, too. The neighbor girl defected to our rival club two houses down. They had electricity hooked up to their playhouse which was much bigger and much cooler.


jenbeauty said...

I really want to know more of what happened to Brennen. There always seemed to be one kid around that was a little like him.

Poor Randy, he just wanted to have fun and let you help them do that. Your step-brother just wanted to one up you. Devious at such a young age.

Eve said...

I too am curious about what happened to Brennen. Marvolous piece of writing - very descriptive and, yes, very Kingish. You're really good at expresssing emotions in your work. I still plan to get to your short story - I just need 2 or 3 extra hours attached to a day.

mr. schprock said...

"Ouch, I just got bitch slapped!"

I meant George W.!

Scott said...

Moni - Thanks, it felt good to describe him so.

Tee - Thanks for your parallel story. It made me smile and reminded me of how kids think.

Jen - It's Brenner, and maybe I'll post more about him later. I did before actually but didn't name him.

Eve - I appreciate all that. Thanks.

Mr Schprock - My comment didn't appropriately express my reaction. It was tongue in cheek, and I knew what you were talking about. I've expressed in previous posts that I support GW, so I thought you knew that and were giving me a hard time. I can't really get behind him so much lately however. I think if ZombieSlayer runs for office then we'll have a reasonable candidate to vote for.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

These are the crystalizing moments of childhood that define countless myriad actions, sometimes without the protaganist even realising.

Great post.

Bhakti said...

Hi Scottso--This is Bhakti--I'm writing to you via The Zombie Slayer's excellent site. Just wanted to let you know that the entire 'bindi' thing was a joke!

I'm the most unpolitically correct person in the world...

So..come on over and visit my site and join in the fun!

Lots of love and laughter,

Scott said...

UTMG - Yeah, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Good comment.

Bhakti - Gotcha! I paid a visit already, and thanks for dropping by.

magnetbabe said...

Great story. I too loved the descriptions and also everyone else sharing their stories. I agree, Brenner was a f*ckstick.

The Zombieslayer said...

I wanted to smack his face, grab him by the hair and use him as a battering ram through the glass slider, tear his arms off and club him senseless with his dismembered limbs.

It appears you didn't like the guy. ;)

The whole telescope thing, you should have beaten his a** for that. Ouch.

none said...

That's a good piece. Whoa... look at that movement.

Scott said...

MB - Thanks for the chuckle!

Zombie - I wanted to. Really. I don't know why I didn't just do it--maybe because it would have been too easy.

Janie - Thanks!