The Happy Grinch

The Who’s down in Whoville are to blame,

For the Grinch’s evil fame.

They bullied him all through school,

Made him feel just like a fool.

The Who’s deserved just what they got,

When the Grinch hatched his evil plot.

But the Grinch, down at his core,

Wasn’t evil, he was so much more.

So, he returned all the toys,

To the Who girls and boys.

They said his heart grew three sizes that day,

But, to me, it was always that way.

Through all their taunts and jeers,

The Grinch was full of Christmas cheer.

The Christmas Tree

We gathered ‘round the tree, so tall,

And watched as dad made it fall.

We tied it to the roof of our car,

And brought it to our house, not far.

Into the house, we bring the tree,

Setting it up, happy as can be.

The tinsel and garland are red and gold,

Many decorations, both new and old.

Strings of lights, twinkling bright,

The angel on top brings Heaven’s light.

Our Christmas tree is now complete,

So, we sit down and put up our feet.

We look and enjoy what we have done,

Then get ready for more Christmas fun.

Words of Love

If well wishes are in your heart,

Does it matter with which words you start?

If Merry Christmas is what you say,

Or if you wish a Happy Holiday.

If a word choice makes you mad,

It is for you that I am sad.

Christmas is about joy and love,

And that special gift from up above.

Don’t let words ruin your mood,

Or haters that are just plain rude.

Keep those you love close to you,

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday, too!!! 

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 29)

Chapter 29

Written by (Flash2002)

“Hey, we’re here. Let’s go by the Ranger Station and pick up the information pamphlets and start our tour of Gettysburg. This is going to be an excellent day! We are about to see history up close and personal,” Griffin shouted happily at Nicholas.

“Yes, babe, I’m excited. My dad wanted me to see it and experience where the historic battles took place. I’m happy I get to share this experience with you.”

“Surprise, Sugar Britches, our uniforms are all ready for us. I arranged for us to be a part of a battlefield reenactment today for the first part of our tour of Gettysburg.”

“What? When did you do that? This is so awesome, babe, thank you so much!” Nicholas said happily.

“Now we need to change into our uniforms and get ready to reenact the famous battle. We have to hurry, though, Nicholas.”

“Wow, you look hot in your uniform. I will always follow your lead, Captain,” Griffin said with a wink.

“It’s so neat getting to portray real soldiers in the Civil War and try to imagine what they must have felt in the moments leading up to it,” Nicholas said. “It took place on July 1-3, 1863. In three days of fighting there were high casualties.”

“General George Meade led the Northern Army to try and stop General Robert E. Lee from taking the Southern Army further north. General Meade’s army had over seventy thousand troops to General Lee’s one hundred thousand plus. The armies fought at different sites on the Gettysburg battlefield,” Griffin said. “It is so awesome that the smaller army was able to win the ultimate battle.”

“Well, let’s go meet some people before we start the reenactment, Peaches.”

The two of them got all the details for the battle and they were getting into position when a younger boy of 13 came up in uniform. “My name is Mick,” he said. “I’ve been doing these reenactments since I was ten years old.”

“It’s so hard for me to picture that kids so young were here on this sacred ground fighting for the country and a lot of them died that day,” Nicholas chimed in.

“Yes, I know. In most cases, the younger kids joined up because their families were killed in battles elsewhere and they were doing it to avenge their deaths,” Mick said. “It’s a pleasure meeting you guys. Have fun!”

As Griffin and Nicholas waited for the first cannon to go off to signal the start, they couldn’t help but feel nervous and anxious. “Can you actually imagine how the troops felt while waiting for the enemy to engage them, Boo?” Griffin said nervously.

“If it’s anything like I feel now, even knowing it’s not real and we won’t die, then I think they were fearful and super anxious.”

The cannons went off to signal the start and the bugles and drums all started playing. Then Nicholas shouted out, “Charge!” The loud cannons going off and the sounds of bullets flying were overwhelming. The reenactment was intense. The ground was littered with ‘dead’ and ‘severely injured’ troops. After some very dramatic moments, the guys came across a familiar face pretending to be dead, their new friend Mick. Nicholas and Griffin both burst into tears even though they knew he was fine. The feelings were still very real.

“Can you imagine the friends that became family to each other finding their dead bodies? I just can’t imagine how truly horrific it all was,” Nicholas said, sadly. “This feels so real and changes how I will see this battle from now on. I see now why my dad wanted me to do this with him and I’m glad I did it with you.”

“Yes, it was definitely an eye-opening experience to me, too, Boo. I never really thought of the implications of this battle and war before. It truly had brothers fighting against brothers and friends fighting against friends,” Griffin said, surveying the scene.

“When all was said and done, the final number of dead was over twenty-three thousand for the North, and for the South, between twenty-three thousand and twenty-eight thousand. It was probably the bloodiest battlefield ever.”

“We are done now, Boo. I guess we can go mingle and chat with the others for a while,” Griffin said.

The guys mingled with other reenactors for a while, and then walked around and looked at the different battlefields. Soon, it was time to head back to the RV and change and get cleaned up to go out and eat at a local diner.

“I’m glad that we got to enjoy this with each other, Peaches. It’s not every day that we get to be a part of history,” Nicholas said as he grabbed Griffin from behind and hugged and kissed him.

“It was very inspiring and enlightening for me. I am glad I got to be with you,” Griffin said with a smile.

The guys decided to go to a diner in town to eat dinner. Most of the buildings, including the diner where they were eating, were buildings still intact from the 1800s. They ordered steaks and potatoes and corn and talked about what it must have been like back in earlier days. The diner’s menu stated that it was on the ghost tour. Griffin flipped through the pamphlets that they had. The information said that Gettysburg is amongst the most haunted places in the United States. There were tales of ghost soldiers and women and children. Tales told of apparitions and things moving on their own, even in the basement of the diner they were eating in right now.

“Hey, sweetie, I want to do this tour. It’s not too late, is it? I know we want to get going early tomorrow to get to Atlantic City by lunchtime. Can we please do this? You know how much I like reading and watching stuff about the paranormal,” Griffin asked excitedly.

“Only for you, my precious Boo. I love you so much I could never say no.” Nicholas said with a huge smile.

“Thank you so much, my love. You’re so sweet to me. I love you very much,” Griffin said as he leaned his head across the table to kiss the love of his life.

They signed up and paid for the tour and headed down into the basement with flashlights and meters to get readings. They were given instructions not to touch anything. They were taken to a room to watch a short film about events that took place, and they were amazed at the history of the township.

The guys were part of a small group that was taken to Jennie Wade’s house. This was where a lady named Jenny Wade was killed by a bullet while she was kneading bread. The stray bullet, shot by soldiers during a battle, went through a thick door. It was said that her ghost, as well as many soldiers’ ghosts, came and did many different things in and around the house. The bullet holes were still in the door. The tour guides said everything was left as it was. Nothing was happening at the moment, so they all started to go. Then things began to move on their own in the kitchen, including a rolling pin rolling as if someone was kneading dough. This was about the most exciting thing that happened on the tour, although there were other light anomalies and mists on the battlefields. Also, they heard talking and saw campfires that weren’t really there, but overall the Wade House was the highlight of the tour.

“Well, see, Peaches, nothing really happened, but it was worth going, and it gave me a reason to hold your hand,” said Nicholas.

“Thank you, Babe. I had fun even if we didn’t see any ghosts. We saw historic houses and heard interesting stories, plus I loved holding your hand and cuddling,” Griff said excitingly. They headed back to the RV and went inside, already stripping each other of their clothes on their way to the bedroom.

The Naughty List

Santa smiled to himself,

At the scurrying of each elf.

Christmas Eve had come at last,

Now things needed to move fast.

Around the world in one night,

Every year a record flight.

Nine little reindeer, a big bag of toys,

For all the good girls and boys.

A sack full of coal was what he had,

If those kids had been bad.

Santa hated the Naughty List,

He scowled and shook one red-gloved fist.

He took out his magical pen,

Crossed off three names, circled ten.

Some kids just needed to believe,

So, he’d grant them a reprieve.

Instead of coal, they’d get to see,

A glimpse of Santa by their tree.

The sleigh was packed, time to go,

Santa took off with a Ho! Ho! Ho!

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 28)

Chapter 28

Written by: (Phoenix 2020)

Both boys were up early, anticipating a full day of once-in-a-lifetime fun and excitement. While the coffee brewed, they quickly performed their morning bathroom rituals and ablutions, somehow managing to keep their hands to themselves. Settled at the table, coffee mugs in hand, and Special K in bowls, they discussed their itinerary.

“So … Your Royal Booness, what’s the game plan for this special day?” Griffin inquired. “I know you have every minute of our Independence Day celebration choreographed minute-by-minute, huh?”

“I certainly do, Peachy Cheeks!” Nicholas replied. “It will be tight in a couple of spots, but if you can manage to keep your hands off me while we hoof it between events, I think we can get to each one in time to partake of the festivities.”

“If I behave myself, may I partake of you later tonight? I’m kinda loving that we are now partaking of the RV all by ourselves! I’m thinking we can set off some fireworks of our own, hmm?”

“Yes, you may … and I agree … and BOOM!” Nicholas winked. “Okay … let’s go through this. Our first stop is a birthday party for America at the Independence Visitor Center, complete with a five-tier cake and 2,500 cupcakes arranged in the shape of an American flag. They even have Betsy Ross leading everyone in ‘Happy Birthday’!”

“Well, she’s gotta be looking the worse for wear by now, but, hey, you had me at cake, so I’m in.”

“Next, we work off the calories by racing ourselves to Independence Hall for a presentation, a reading of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and music by the Philly Pops Band. Then we have to get to Chestnut Street by 11 o’clock for the start of the ‘Salute to America Independence Day Parade.’ That’ll last a while since it has over 4000 participants!”

“Sounds exciting! Oh, please tell me more, Boomeister!”

“Okay, then. I’m sure by that time you will be famished, having not eaten in many minutes, so we will move on to the ‘July 4th Community Picnic in the Park’ at the Valley Forge National Historical Park. That will take us to mid-afternoon, and we can make our way to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the ‘Party on the Parkway’ which ends with the ‘Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks’ this evening.”

“This is going to be EPIC!” Griffin gushed. “I have an empty memory card in my camera ready to record every minute for our posterior!”

“Uh … you mean posterity?”

“Yeah, sure .. that, too!”

—————————————————————————————-

With both phones and Griffin’s ridiculously expensive digital camera fully charged and backpacks stuffed with anything and everything they felt they might need, the boys headed out into the 70 degree early morning sunshine for the half-hour walk to the bus stop where the Philly Phlash would deliver them to the Independence Visitor Center to begin the day-long birthday party. As they walked, Griffin soon noticed that Nicholas’ earlier exuberance seemed to have waned considerably, as he was unusually quiet.

“Feeling a bit anxious?” the always perceptive Griffin gently probed.

“There’s going to be like a gazillion people everywhere,” Nicholas answered. “I’m trying really hard to not think about that, Griff, but when we get there, it’s going to hit me full on. I don’t wanna ruin this or embarrass you by freaking out with a panic attack.”

“First, you won’t embarrass me,” Griffin quickly assured him. “Second, we both know how to deal with it. It won’t be the first time it’s happened. If you start feeling dizzy or out of breath, just look me in the eyes and stay focused on me. Shut out everything and everyone around us. We’ll get through it just like we always do, and you know, after the first attack, you’ll be fine.” Griffin squeezed Nicholas’ hand firmly to punctuate his words.

“Thanks, Griff. I already feel better. You’ve always been my rock, and you always know what to say and do.”

An hour later, when the Philly Phlash spit them out in front of the Independence Visitor Center, Nicholas just stood tensely on the sidewalk gripping Griffin’s hand tightly. There were at least as many people as he had feared there would be, no doubt due in large part to the beautiful weather. “Look at me, Boo,” Griffin said, and Nicholas focused on his green eyes. “Now just breath slow, in and out, in and out.”

Nicholas began to feel the blood flow back into his legs, and the trembling faded away. As his labored breathing began to ease, he tentatively began to look around and take everything in. The anxiety retreated back into the far corners of his mind, surely to return again another day but, for now, defeated. With Griffin by his side, he was ready to not only face the crowds but enjoy this once in a lifetime experience … America’s birthday in the birthplace of America.

—————————————————————————————-

The boys slowly made their way through the swarm, following Griffin’s cake radar until each had a cupcake in their free hand and receded back toward the less crowded fringes of the lawn. Eventually, a rather robust looking, for roughly 250 years old, Betsy Ross made her appearance and enthusiastically began to belt out ‘Happy Birthday’ with the throng of celebrants quickly joining in.

With the sugar infusion, the boys easily found the energy to race each other to Independence Hall. Of course, Griffin arrived first, but he made sure to keep an eye over his shoulder to ensure that Nicholas was close behind. They arrived just as the guest speaker, one Morgan Freeman, arrived center stage and began the recitation of ‘The Declaration of Independence.’ Both Nicholas and Griffin were blinking back tears by the end of the surprisingly moving rendering. As Mr. Freeman stepped down from the dais, the Philly Pops Band immediately blasted out the first notes of the national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ The chorus of voices that joined in raised goosebumps on both boys. They listened to other iconic tunes such as ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy,’ ‘God Bless America,’ ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag,’ and ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ before finally tearing themselves away from the awe-inspiring concert to make their way to Chestnut Street for the start of the parade.

Following the almost two hour parade, of which Griffin took a plethora of snapshots, they consulted their GPS and found their way to the Valley Forge National Historical Park for the community picnic. Not at all surprising, the party boys were quite peckish as both their cereal and cupcakes were little more than a distant memory at this point. Brandishing plates that were all but overflowing and bottles of water, they found a spot on a low brick wall surrounding the park to rest, ingest, and imbibe.

After inhaling their food and drink, the boys sprawled out on the manicured lawn in the shade under a massive Red Maple tree. “Come here, Boo. I’ve held out as long as I can,” winked Griffin. “I need to partake of you right now!”

“You don’t need to beg, Sweet Peach, but remember this is a family event,” Nicholas teased as he pulled Griff into his arms. “Hands above the waist at all times. Whoa! Is that your camera lens in your pocket, or are you that happy to get your hands on me?”

After enjoying the beauty of the perfect summer day for an hour, as well as the beauty of their new relationship, Nicholas and Griffin rose, discarded their plates and water bottles in the recycling bins, and began a leisurely stroll, hand in hand, toward Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the evening concert and fireworks show.

Thinking that this day couldn’t get any better, they discovered that they were wrong. The concert was exhilarating, and the fireworks display was beyond either of the boys’ expectations. Happily exhausted, they located the closest bus stop and waited for the Philly Phlash to arrive. Nicholas set up an Uber pick up at their bus dropoff so that they would not have to make the walk back to the RV. Not only were the boys quite tired but they were a little nervous about being out walking at that time of the night in an unfamiliar area.

—————————————————————————————-

Remarkably, freshly showered and lying in bed by midnight, both boys were too zapped to do anything more than cuddle and smooch. After a half-hour of blissful togetherness, they separated themselves. Griffin transferred his pics from his camera to his laptop and began to play with them, discarding some, editing others, while Nicholas retrieved his journal and began to record their day’s excitement.

“Hey, Peaches?”

“Yeah, Boo?”

“Remember my dad’s maps that I found the other day with the markings and notes he made about places he wanted to visit and take me to?”

“Of course, I do.”

“Well, I was thinking … it’s out of the way a bit, but one of the places he had circled was Gettysburg. I know we’re heading toward New England, and Gettysburg is actually west of here, but I think we’ve got time to go there for the weekend. I’m pretty sure they do Civil War reenactments on the weekends, and that would be really awesome to see! Then maybe we could head back east towards Atlantic City. What do you think?”

“I think … no, I know … I would follow you to the ends of the Earth!”

The Food at Christmas

A snowflake landed on my nose,

Chilling me down to my toes.

I’d go in by the fire,

But the guy that I desire.

Likes to play out in the snow,

Why he does this, I just don’t know.

Sledding, skiing, and skating too,

All the wintry things to do.

Later on, we’ll go back inside,

And under blankets, we will hide.

We’re finally warm, inside and out,

Then from the kitchen, we hear a shout.

Christmas dinner is finally done,

We’re so hungry we almost run.

After dinner, the smells take me,

Out to the kitchen where I see,

Christmas cookies piled high,

And apple, cherry, and pumpkin pie.

There’s a lot to love about Christmas Day,

Presents and family and children at play.

But I’m here to tell you,

The food ranks pretty high too.

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 27)

Chapter 27

Written by: (KenW9270)

Nicholas closed the door firmly behind himself, then started to walk toward the rear door. Griffin reached over and grabbed his hand. “Nicholas, we’ve checked all the doors and windows three times. Everything is locked up tight.”

“Should we just stay here today? We’re gonna leave by one or two anyway.”

Griff leaned down, so their foreheads were touching and stared into Nicholas’ blue eyes as he spoke. “No. Let’s stick to our plans. Whether it was some kid looking for money, or something more sinister, I think if anything were going to happen, it would have happened yesterday. Don’t let it ruin our fun.”

Nicholas leaned in for a kiss. “You truly are my rock. I don’t know what I would ever do without you. Let’s go have some fun.”

“I guess your idea of fun is eating my dust on the go-kart track!” Jamie said with a smirk.

Casey rolled her eyes. “Come on, children. Let’s get moving if we want to do this. There’s no sense wasting our last day together.”

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Nicholas leaped out of the go-kart almost before it stopped moving. He pumped his fist in the air and yelled, “Total victory is mine!”

Griff and the two girls got out of their go-karts and walked over to Nicholas. “You were lucky! I was just settling into a good groove. A couple more races and I would have caught you,” Griffin said.

“We agreed on the number of races and point system before we started. Don’t be a sore loser, Peaches!” Nicholas retorted.

“At least I tied with you,” Jamie said, poking Griffin in the side and laughing.

“Can we not talk about who finished where, and just agree that we all had fun?” Casey asked with a grin.

Jamie spun and faced her sister, “That’s only because you finished last, sis!”

Casey shook her head, “Oh, please. I took it easy on you guys because I knew I’d destroy you all at mini-golf.”

“That sounds like a challenge! Come on, let’s go!” Griffin shouted and led the group away from the go-kart track and under the sign which read ‘Fire Mountain Mini-golf.’

By the time that they played seven holes, Nicholas and Jamie saw that the game was going to be a battle between Casey and Griff, so they conspired together to try trick shots to get hole-in-ones and attempt to gain some ground. “Nicholas! No! Don’t hit it yet.” Jamie ran up to Nicholas just before he hit the ball. “Don’t hit it through the loop-de-loop. Angle it off to the left and ricochet off the wall. If you do it just right, it should go right into the hole.”

“Ok, I see what you’re trying to do. I’ll try it that way.” Nicholas said and shot the ball. The ball went just like Jamie said it would but stopped a few inches short of the hole. On Jamie’s turn, she hit it harder than Nicholas had, but the ball flew past the hole, missing it by only an inch or two.

On the sixteenth hole, Griff and Casey were tied for the lead. The obstacle to the hole was a windmill. They had to hit the ball through the hole in the mill and avoid the spinning blades. Griff lined up his shot perfectly and hit the ball. The spinning windmill blade swooped down and covered the opening just before his ball arrived. Griff’s golf ball smacked into the blade and caromed off backward, almost back to where it started. Griffin cursed his bad luck and finished the hole in five shots. Casey’s shot went perfectly under the windmill and stopped just a couple inches from the hole. A light tap into the hole, and she was now three shots ahead of Griffin.

Griff kicked at the turf. “Great shot, Casey. I still have two holes to catch up, though!” Griffin’s comeback was not to be. They played even on the last two holes. In total, the course was a par fifty-four. Casey ended with forty-four, Griff with forty-seven, Nicholas with fifty-one, and Jamie with fifty-six.

Just as they were about to leave Fire Mountain, a teenage boy who looked to be about sixteen or seventeen ran up to Jamie. “Hey, baby. These two,” he motioned toward Griff and Nicholas, “don’t look like they’re paying a hottie like you enough attention.” He held up a hand in front of Jamie and was rolling two golf balls around in his hand. “Why don’t you come over here and play with my balls for a while.”

Griff started to step forward, but Jamie raised a hand to let him know that she could handle it. Jamie gave the other boy a sweet smile and placed her hand flat against his chest. “You’re such a charmer. I bet you get all the girls with witty lines like that, don’t you?”

“I do ok.” he gave her a cocky grin.

Jamie took another step closer, still smiling. “I bet you don’t. I bet that Junior,” her eyes flicked down toward his crotch. “has never even seen a girl in his life.”

The boy’s eyes grew wide. “Why you little b…” whatever else he was going to say never made it past his lips. Jamie’s smile grew even wider as she lifted her knee and planted it firmly in his groin. The boy screamed and fell to the ground, his hands clutching at his injured family jewels.

Two other boys ran up and knelt down by their friend. As they helped him to his feet, one of them said, “Dude, you’re such an idiot. We told you not to try that.”

“Shut up, Wyatt! You’re supposed to have my back.”

“I do, but you totally deserved what you got.” The rest of their conversation died out as they walked away.

Jamie spun back toward her sister and the boys. “Well, that was fun. Are we ready to go now?”

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Nicholas strapped himself securely into the captain’s chair and picked out a playlist to send them on their way. He looked behind him and grinned at Jamie. “As we roll outta Delaware and move on to Pennsylvania, let’s honor Jamie’s fallen suitor.” His grin widened as he hit play. They left Rehoboth Beach to the sounds of Queen.

Oh, let’s go

Steve walks warily down the street

With the brim pulled way down low

Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet,

Machine guns ready to go

Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this?

Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along

Without you when you’re gone?

You took me for everything that I had

And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied?

How long can you stand the heat?

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

Hey

Oh take it

Bite the dust

Kinda dusty!

Hey

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust oww

Another one bites the dust hey hey

Another one bites the dust eh eh

Oh shoot out

There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man

And bring him to the ground

You can beat him, you can cheat him

You can treat him bad and leave him when he’s down

But I’m ready, yes, I’m ready for you

I’m standing on my own two feet

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

Repeating to the sound of the beat oh yeah

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

Oh shoot out, hey hey, all right.

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

They arrived at the RV park just outside Philadelphia at four twenty-five, pretty much right on schedule. “I’ll be right back. I just have to run to the office and sign in.” Nicholas said as he climbed out of the RV.

“What time is your aunt getting here?” Griff asked Jamie.

“I’m texting her right now,” Jamie answered.

“Don’t bother. She just texted me. She’s here.” Casey said. All three of them exited the RV and walked toward the parking area near the office. Griff chatted with the girls on their way to the parking lot, but then he noticed that they both stopped dead in their tracks.

“Hey, what’s wrong? Not quite ready to part company with me yet?” He said and flashed them both a smile. His smile evaporated when he saw the look of fear on both of their faces. “Seriously, girls, what’s wrong?”

“Look. It’s him. It’s been him following us all along.” Griff looked where Jamie pointed, and he saw an older man and an older woman in what looked like a heated argument. The man was leaning against a beat-up red pickup truck.

“That’s your stepfather? Is that your aunt that he’s talking to?” Griffin asked.

“Yes. That’s Aunt Bev. I guess we better get over there and get this over with.” Casey said.

“I’m sure your aunt will take care of everything,” Griff said, trying to sound cheerful. As they got closer, they overheard the conversation between Aunt Bev and stepdad Roger.

“Those girls owe me! They’re coming back with me until they pay off my hospital bills. They left most of their stuff behind anyway. They probably want it back.”

“They aren’t going anywhere with you, Roger. I tried to get my sister away from you, and I tried to get the girls after she passed away. Now that both of my nieces are out of that house and over eighteen years old, there’s no way they are ever going back.”

“Listen, bitch, they’re coming with me, or I’ll call the cops and have them arrested for assault.”

Griffin spoke up. “Dude, I saw their bruises. You were beating them, and you probably beat their mom, too. You’re a child-abusing bully. Go ahead and call the cops. I dare you.”

Roger reached into the back of his pickup and pulled out a baseball bat. “Look, Jamie, I brought your favorite toy.” Then he glared at Griffin. “I don’t know you, boy, but if I can’t get my money, I’ll sure as hell get some revenge.”

“There’s four of us here. You don’t want to do this, Roger.” Casey said. Bev had distanced herself from Roger and was on the phone with 9-1-1.

“Get behind me,” Griff said to the girls. Then, when Griff looked back at Roger, he saw Nicholas walking across the parking lot behind the older man. Roger raised the baseball bat and started stalking towards Griffin, Casey, and Jamie. Griff was about to yell out to Nicholas to go get help, but then he saw his boyfriend lower his head and charge. Nicholas hit Roger like a linebacker sacking the quarterback. Roger’s arms flew up, and the bat went sliding across the parking lot. The two hit the pavement with a thud, Nicholas’ landing cushioned by Roger’s body.

Griffin raced over and helped Nicholas to his feet. “That was amazing! Are you ok, Boo?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. I came out of the office and saw the red pickup. Then I saw that guy raise the bat and walk toward you guys, and I just reacted. I take it that he’s the stepfather?”

Casey and Jamie had joined the boys and had Nicholas in a double bear hug. They each kissed him on the cheek, and Jamie said, “Yes. That’s our stepfather, and you are our absolute hero!”

Roger groaned and rolled onto his back. He started to get up. Bev looked down at him. “Just stay on the ground, Roger. The cops are almost here.” In fact, at that moment, they all heard the sirens getting closer.

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Back in the RV, the two boys flopped down on the couch. “I can’t believe that just happened,” Griffin said.

“Which part?” Nicholas chuckled.

“All of it! You’re a bona fide hero, Boo!”

“Aw! You would have done the same thing, Peaches.”

“I’m just glad the girls are safe and with family now.”

“I’m going to miss the hell out of them, but some alone time with you will be nice,” Nicholas said, laying his head in Griff’s lap and swinging his legs up onto the couch. “Pass me the remote, please, Peaches.”

“Here you go, hero,” Griff said as he passed Nicholas the remote and leaned down for a kiss.

Nicholas turned on the TV and started up Netflix. “What do you feel like watching tonight?”

“Something fun. No more drama for me tonight.” Griff laughed.

“Hmm. It sounds like a night to continue binging ‘Grace and Frankie’ then.”

“Excellent choice,” Griff said, and they settled in for a relaxing night of comedy after their adventurous and drama-filled day.

The Christmas Spirit

Christmas comes but once a year,

Families gather from far and near.

Dinner is eaten with family and friends,

If you’re fighting, you make amends.

The holiday spirit should last the whole year through,

Keep those you love always close to you.

Remember, my friends, Christmas is but once a year,

But always keep your heart full of Christmas cheer.

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 26)

Chapter 26

Written by: (Flash2002)

Nicholas woke up earlier than Griffin for once. He could barely contain his excitement to finally get out into the ocean and see just how much of the surfing lessons that he’d retained. Having the love of his life by his side as his surf mentor was a definite added bonus. He went into the bathroom and started getting ready for the big day ahead.

Griffin woke up and felt around for Nicholas. He got a little worried when he wasn’t there. “Where in the world is he? He never gets up this early,” Griff thought to himself. Puzzled and confused, he jumped out of bed only to hear “Surfin’ USA” playing, and to his surprise, Nicholas was singing to the Beach Boys hit. “Mmmhhhmmm, Nicky-poo, you had me worried, but seeing you in here singing and dancing in the shower tells me that you’re excited about today.”

“Cool observation, and don’t call me Nicky-poo. You know I hate that, but you are correct,” Nicholas popped off. “I’m really ready to try to surf out on the real ocean and, with you out there, I’m not scared at all.”

“I’m so happy that you’re excited about surfing,” Griffin answered back.

“I’m going to finish getting ready and then you should shower before we wake the girls up.”

“Fine, you got a deal, babe.”

Griffin showered and got ready for the day and then went back to the bedroom to get his bodysuit on. He couldn’t find Nicholas again, so he opened the front door to the RV and, lo and behold, Nicholas was outside getting his board ready for the day at the beach. “Hi, honey! Boy, you really are excited. You keep on doing what you’re doing and I’ll get the girls up and cook breakfast. I love you, babe,” Griffin said happily.

Griffin walked into the living room and saw both girls still sprawled out on the pull-out sofa. “Rise and shine, ladies! It’s time to get up and get ready for the beach.” After a few groans from the girls, Jamie darted into the bathroom, so Casey sighed and picked up her cell phone to check her messages while she waited for her sister to get ready. Griffin went into the kitchen and started making pancakes and bacon. He also got out some fruit for pancake toppings. He turned the music on as he was cooking and selected a playlist. Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” started playing as Griff began cutting up the fruit.

After about 45 minutes, Nicholas came back inside and, along with the girls, now dressed in their bikinis, sat down to eat.

“This is so good, Griff! Thank you for yet another great breakfast,” Nicholas said with a grin.

The girls both complimented Griffin on breakfast, but then Jamie, as usual, had to tease Griff. “Nicholas is so lucky. You will make a good wife for him one day.”

“That’s so funny, but don’t quit your day job any time soon. Oh, wait, you don’t work, little miss comedian,” Griff said with a laugh.

“Alright, we’re ready to go. Let’s head to the beach now to make sure we get good spots,” Nicholas said.

They all grabbed the stuff they needed and they headed out to the beach. They were quite the sight, two guys carrying surfboards and backpacks and wearing bodysuits and two girls in bikinis. They arrived and picked out good spots. The boys set up down close to the water, while the girls chose to set up close to the lifeguard shack. The girls set out their beach towels and started checking out the groups of guys that were playing frisbee on the beach.

Nicholas was eager to get out on the water, but Griffin cautioned him to wait a bit. Griff said that the waves would start getting bigger soon enough, and until then they talked about their plans for the day.

“Mom is going to just love that I did this today and conquered one of my fears, and it’s all thanks to you, Peaches,” Nicholas said proudly.

“Aw shucks. It’s you that will be doing it all, and I’m proud to share this moment and day with you.” Griffin said, blushing. They looked over at the girls and saw that they were already having fun flirting with all the guys. Casey was hanging all over one of the lifeguards, feeling his muscles, and Jamie had joined in with one of the frisbee games. The guys bust out laughing, and they went back to talking about surf and conditions.

“Okay, see that section over there? Try not to get into the currents and let the waves carry you into that rocky bluff area. Turn away from it if you can and do tricks going away from it. Also, see that part there? If you get into that area it has a lot of stinging jellyfish and other fish which could attract sharks. So, avoid that,” Griffin said.

“Avoid crashing into the rocks and avoid getting eaten by sharks. Those are the best two pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten,” Nicholas said, laughing. “Seriously, I am paying attention to everything, Peaches. Thank you.”

“Can I continue now?” Griffin grinned and rolled his eyes. “Anyway, if you get into some big heavy waves, fall off your board, but remember to grab your board and hold onto it, so it can help keep your head above water. I know you got this, babe.”

Time passed by, the winds picked up, and the waves increased. “Let’s do this! It’s time to paddle out and see if we can catch some waves, Boo,” Griffin said with a huge smile.

Both of the guys got on their boards and paddled out. “It’s your turn, go for it, babe,” Griff told Nicholas.

With great anticipation, Nicholas caught his first wave and balanced well on his board. He rode the wave doing some minor tricks, and shouted out with glee, “Awesome, I did it! Wow! What a feeling of exhilaration!”

“Woohoo, I am so proud of you, babe,” Griff said as he paddled over to Nicholas and kissed him.

“Now show me what you got, Griff, don’t hold back. Show me how it’s done,” Nicholas said, smiling ear to ear.

“I forgot to tell you, I recorded you with my GoPro cam so you can show your mom, and I can upload it to our Instagram,” Griff said.

Griffin caught a great wave and did a lot of tricks, jumps, flips, and rode the tube really well. He was excited and told Nicholas, “You’re up next. I bet you do even better than before.”

The boys rode many waves throughout the day and only took short breaks all day long. They met some local surfers and made lots of friends. As a matter of fact, the girls were hanging out with a few of the surfers they met. They all agreed to meet at a bonfire on the beach later in the evening. The guys decided to call it a day after surfing and just hung out with all the local surfers.

Nightfall came, and they all headed over to the area of the beach where a huge bonfire had been lit. Nicholas was in awe of how cool it was to be a part of the surfing community and was just kinda speechless at first. “Hey, Griff, I now know why you’re so cool and love surfing so much. Everyone is so down to earth and friendly. They give you pointers and don’t really judge you that much. It seems like a close-knit family atmosphere, and it’s a welcome change,” Nicholas said.

“That’s for sure, babe, and everyone wants to see you succeed. You see, that’s what I have been telling you all these years. It’s really cool to be a surfer. Don’t get me wrong, you still have the arrogant douche bags, but overall it’s family,” Griffin said with pride. The two girls were still flirting with some of the local guys. Jamie was adding everyone on Snapchat and Twitter. Griffin and Nicholas made their rounds, sitting with different groups and telling their surf stories. Griffin let Nicholas do most of the talking, as it was his special day. Griff beamed with pride as Nicholas told everyone about his first time surfing out in the open waters.

Hours went by, and they were all tired and decided to head back to the RV. When they arrived, the door to the RV was wide open. Someone had broken in. Without hesitation, Nicholas dropped his board and ran inside to look around. “Nothing seems to be missing or damaged. The biggest thing is whoever it was dumped everything out of both girls’ backpacks and threw everything all over the living room. Casey, Jamie, check and see if anything is missing.” Nicholas said.

The girls picked up all their stuff and whispered nervously to each other before returning to Nicholas. “Nothing is missing. Why would someone do this, Nicholas?” Casey asked.

“I don’t know. This is so strange, but there’s no need to call and report it to the cops since nothing’s missing. We just need to double-check that we lock up tight when we leave. We may have left it unlocked by mistake,” Nicholas proclaimed.

“I agree, but we also need to keep an eye out for trouble or anything suspicious. Now let’s all get ready for bed. I, for one, am ready to crash,” Griffin said.

The girls changed into their pajamas and pulled out the sofa bed. “Goodnight, boys.” They both said practically in unison.

Griffin and Nicholas talked in bed about their day, and then after a few goodnight kisses, Nicholas wrapped his arms around Griffin, snuggled in close, and they both fell quickly asleep.