My Wonderful Readers, welcome back for the second installment in our trilogy of wonder!
Today things are about to get a lot more exciting…!
(Missed part one? Scroll on down to read it first.)
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“I only wished I knew him,” Reagan replied. “Our interactions were as mysterious as that library he had been trying to build. Mind you, this must have been at least a half century since he supposedly disappeared, It all started on a cool crisp fall afternoon. My father had some business to attend to out here, and I was with him on the account of it being a weekend and all. Heading back, our car suddenly broke down right there in front of The Gurong’s place, so daddy got out to have a look at the engine, and I got out to have a look at that funny ol’ building.
“I looked up at every window, and when my eyes came upon the top one, I could have sworn I saw a figure up there.”
“Was it him?” Crispin so eagerly asked.
“Him who? At that time I had no idea who it could be. But curiosity was drawing me near, so I took a few steps toward the front gate, but before I could try and open it daddy had called out for me to get back into the car.
“This is when I really did notice someone up there, a silhouette of sorts. But I didn’t feel afraid. If anything, I wanted to go in and find out who was up there, but daddy was ready to go, and growing more impatient, so I reached into my pocket and took out half an uneaten pack of Butter Rum LifeSavers and placed them underneath that front gate.
“A couple of days later I had convinced mother to take me back, and sure enough when I kneeled back down to the bottom of that gate I found something waiting for me. It was a copy of Charlotte’s Web, along with the empty wrapper to the LifeSavers.
“Like you, I became enthralled about the place, and whoever lived inside it. But it was around this same time when my Cerebral Palsy began to rear its ugly head, affecting my ability to walk. So I couldn’t just pedal my way out here. Mother and daddy would allow me to ‘indulge in this fantasy’ every once in awhile, believing someone was just playing a game with me, so they’d go ahead and drive me out so I could pick up a new book and leave behind more LifeSavers, but soon my legs were becoming so bad I had no choice but to get used to a wheelchair, and so my wondrous days exchanging treats with The Gurong had unfortunately come to an end.
“I don’t know how, but he seemed to know my last day of visiting was coming to a near, for on that very last one the book waiting for me was one I had never heard of before. The very one you are now holding in your hands.”
“So he’s the one who wrote it!”
“Indeed. His story. Well, part of it anyway.
“After I read it I was at a loss, wanting so desperately to go in and explore that puzzling building of his, but one cannot maneuver a wheelchair in such a place.
“As ironic as The Gurong’s tale of becoming nothing more than a ghost story, here I ended up, just a stone’s throw from his place, yet never able to go in and explore it.”
“I can take you!” Crispin said. “We can go together!”
“What a happy thought,” Reagan replied, “but the staff would never allow it. And that ogre Waylon, he’d be sure to tell ‘em if we tried going behind their backs.”
“No, Reagan, we can’t give up that easy,” Crispin insisted. “Wasn’t it your generation that said ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way?’
She couldn’t argue against such wisdom, and so they began to devise a plan.
Crispin lived next door to a bike shop, the very one he and his family had gotten their bikes from for years, so it wasn’t hard to get ahold of one with a sidecar attached to it, the owner cutting the rental fee in half for one of his loyalist customers.
As for Reagan, her job was to find a way to incapacitate Waylon, who usually went to bed later than the rest and rose earlier. She didn’t want to risk putting the old ogre to sleep forever, so slipping him a pill wasn’t an option. However, they did have plenty of laxative around the home, and since he liked to have hot chocolate with his late night reading, that problem seemed solved.
The big night had come. With a couple of flashlights tied to the handlebars and a few more for exploring, Crispin snuck out of his bedroom window and began pedalling toward the outskirts of town. He had never been out by himself so late, his heartbeat increasing even more so whenever a car passed him. But excitement kept him strong-willed, with him arriving at Springwood with a few minutes to spare.
And then came Reagan’s signal, the porch light flipping on and off three times. Crispin pushed the sidecar bike up to the house as quickly yet quietly as he could, then waited for the door to open.
He could now hear voices coming from inside, not knowing rather he should run or stay. Adrenaline still pumping through his veins, he decided to place his ear against the front door, where he then heard Reagan and Waylon talking.
“I just couldn’t sleep. Thought I’d get some fresh air. And you?” Reagan said.
“Nature’s callin’ a lil’ too much tonight. Musta’ been somethin’ I ate.” Waylon answered.
“Alrighty then, don’t wanna keep you from doin’ your business,” she replied.
Crispin could now hear the ogre rushing to the bathroom, the awful sound of accidents going off as he did so. It was all he could do to keep the giggles from escaping his mouth.
The front door then opened. “He should be busy in there for quite awhile,” Reagan said as Crispin helped widen the door. Next he did as they had practiced, turning around to where she could reach up and grab ahold of his shoulders, so he could piggyback her to the sidecar.
From here he took out her wheelchair and hid it in the bushes. All was going according to plan, but then the sound of a flush came from the nearby bathroom window.
Crispin ran to the bike. “He’s already done!” he said with a loud whisper.
“Hang on,” Reagan replied, placing a finger up to signify a moment before pointing over to the window.
Sure enough within seconds the bathroom light came on again, Waylon’s silhouette sitting down for another round of unpleasantness.
Crispin and Reagan both giggled as he wheeled them out to the street, where he then started off by running alongside the bike as he pushed, to give them a good start, the little old lady letting out a sound of glee as he jumped on and began to pedal them into the wind.
She outstretched her arms, lifted her head toward the night sky and closed her eyes, enjoying the freedom she hadn’t felt in so long.
The amazing conclusion of The Gurong is coming soon!
Tip jar with a purpose…