“Shawn, knock it off.”
“Gus, seriously. I feel feverish and my throat is closing in!”
“Shawn, it won’t work.”
“Oh, I feel faint. I didn’t eat anything with shellfish in it did I?”
Gus rolled his eyes, “Quit making excuses, Shawn. You’re going.”
“Excuses? I don’t make excuses.” Shawn said appalled.
“You made me drive all the way across town to pick up hamster food.” Gus said.
“Hamsters have to eat too, you know.” Shawn said, smugly.
“You don’t have a hamster!” Gus cried.
“Some day I might.” Shawn said, “And his name will be Harry.”
Gus rolled his eyes and tried to concentrate on driving instead of his annoying friend who was hyperventilating in the passenger seat.
“Shawn, you aren’t going to die from this. What’s so bad about taking Mychal to the movies? I thought you two were getting along now.”
“We are getting along. It doesn’t have anything to do with Mychal.” Shawn said exasperated, “It’s just, I know what she will want to see.”
Gus looked at him, “And what would that be?”
“You know!” Shawn said, “Girly movies! With the kissing and the stupid girl always being right! I hate those movies.”
“How are you even sure that Mychal will want to see a movie like that?” Gus asked.
“Because she’s a girl.” Shawn said obviously.
“Yes, and Mychal is such a girly girl.” Gus said rolling his eyes.
“It isn’t that she’s a girly girl.” Shawn corrected as they turned the corner to the street that led to his father’s house, “It’s the fact that she is a girl. All girls love the movies with the strong, independent women who make guys apologize even when the girl is the one who was wrong.”
“You analyze movies too much.” Gus said.
“I hate those movies.” Shawn said as they pulled up in front of the house, “You can’t tell me that you’ll actually enjoy going to a movie like that.”
“Nope, I can’t.” Gus said.
“But,” Gus said pointing a finger at his best friend, “If that’s what Mychal wants to see then that is what I will watch.”
Shawn sneered at him, “You always have to be the boy scout.”
Gus glared at him and got out of the car. Shawn sighed and followed him, conveniently pulling himself out of the open window instead of opening the door. Gus stared at him appalled.
“Shawn!” He cried, “Use the door! That’s a co-”
“Company car. Yeah, I know.” Shawn said walking up to the door, “Dude, seriously, you have to come up with a different excuse.”
Gus followed him waving a hand at his head and pinching his head between two of his fingers. Shawn ignored him and barged into his father’s house, knocking only after he had opened the door. He looked around the living room and all though he didn’t see his father or sister, he went straight for the kitchen. He found his father at the sink rinsing out a paint roller.
“Dad.” Shawn greeted, “What are you doing?”
Henry turned around and sighed inwardly. He knew Shawn would never learn to knock, but that didn’t stop him from hoping. He grabbed the dish towel next to the sink and left the roller to dry in the sink.
“We just finished painting Mychal’s room.” Henry said drying his hands, “I thought it would make her feel more at home if she could re-decorate her room.”
“Ah, how nice of you.” Shawn cooed, “What did she paint it?”
“Sunflower yellow.” Henry said.
Shawn snorted. He swallowed when Henry gave him a warning glare.
“I’m sorry.” Shawn laughed, “But, sunflower yellow? Did she paint little flowers on it too?”
Henry sighed, “Shawn, cut her some slack would you? It was her choice and it actually doesn’t look that bad. She could have chosen pink.”
Shawn shuddered, “I think I just got the chills from the image of a pink room in your house.”
“Cool it, Shawn.” Henry ordered, “Mychal has really been enjoying this day. We had a great time painting this morning and she’s been looking forward to going to the movies with her big brother. So don’t screw this up. Understand?”
Shawn put his hands up in defeat, “I surrender. Where is Michelangelo anyway?”
“She’s taking a shower.” Henry said turning to the fridge. “What movie are you going to see?”
“We don’t know yet, sir.” Gus said with a smile, “We thought we’d let Mychal choose.”
Henry smirked, “Good, that’ll make her day even better.”
“Did she just get into the shower?” Shawn asked looking up at the ceiling, “Because I really don’t want to wait an hour for her to put her face on.”
“Shawn.” Henry said warningly.
“What?” Shawn shrugged innocently, “Everyone knows that women take forever to get ready. It’s a proven fact.”
Henry rolled his eyes and grabbed an apple from the fridge. Shawn smiled with the enjoyment of annoying the crap out of his father. Suddenly, he detected the heavenly scent of his favorite fruit.
“Dad, you have pineapple and you’re holding out on me?” Shawn asked, feigning hurt.
Henry looked at him confused, “Pineapple? I don’t have any pineapple.”
“Dad, seriously. You know that I can detect it from five miles. Come on, cough it up. Where is it?” Shawn asked.
“Shawn, I don’t have any pineapple.” Henry said. “Come check if you want.”
Shawn marched over to the open refrigerator door and stuck his head into the cool interior. He pushed aside the mayo and the pickles and searched through the fruit drawer, but to his great dismay, he found no pineapple. He stood up.
“That’s weird.” He said, “I know I smell pineapple.”
“You’re losing it, buddy.” Henry said.
“He lost it a long time ago.”
Shawn looked up at the stairwell as Mychal stepped off the last stair. She was wearing old jeans and a dark green tunic. Her hair was still slightly damp and half of it was pulled back in a half ponytail. Shawn glared at her.
“We are talking about his brain, right?” Mychal asked.
“Ha, at least I had one to lose.” Shawn said with a sneer.
“So you admit that you lost it.” Mychal grinned.
“I-ooh. You don’t play far.” Shawn said although he was smiling.
“I know.” Mychal grinned, “Thanks for letting me go, Henry.”
Henry smirked, “And miss the chance for silence?”
“I’m not that loud.” Mychal laughed as she grabbed her purse from the kitchen table.
“No, but your stereo is.” Henry said. He pulled out a twenty dollar bill, “This is for the movies, you’ll have to fend for yourselves on the candy.” Shawn reached out his hand for the money and for a moment it seemed as if Henry was actually going to give it to him until at the last second he pulled his hand back and gave the money to Mychal.
“Hey!” Shawn cried out, “Why does she get the money?”
“Because she’s responsible.” Henry said and turned away. Mychal stuck her tongue out at Shawn.
“Oh, yeah. Very responsible.” Shawn grumbled.
“You guys better get going if you want to get there early.” Henry said turning back to them.
Mychal gave Henry a quick hug and then a peck on the cheek. Henry grinned as she moved away only to step back in fright as Shawn came at him intent on kissing him.
“Ah!” Henry cried pushing his son away.
“Aw, come on, Dad.” Shawn grinned barely suppressing his laughter, “Don’t you love me?”
“Not that much.” Henry growled.
Shawn laughed as he let Gus drag him out of the house. Henry shuddered and went back to cleaning his painting tools. Outside Mychal was buckling herself into the back seat as Shawn slid through the open window and into his seat. Mychal giggled as Gus went into the rampage that Shawn knew he would.
“Shawn!” Gus cried as he got behind the wheel. “I just told you less than ten minutes ago not to do that.”
“No, you told me not to get out of the car like that. You didn’t say anything about getting in.” Shawn grinned as he buckled up.
Gus acted like he was about to shout but stopped himself and started the car. Shawn watched him expectantly, but Gus never yelled at him as they started down the street.
“What, no shouting? It’s no fun if you don’t shout.” Shawn whined.
“Exactly.” Gus growled.
Mychal laughed in the back seat, “You two deserve each other.”
“Thanks, Michelangelo.” Shawn grinned, “So what movie do you want to see?”
“I get to choose?”
“Unfortunately.” Shawn grumbled.
“Cool. I wanted to see-”
“Crap!” Gus suddenly exclaimed.
“What?” Shawn asked, “Did a bug splatter on your precious company car’s wind shield?”
“No.” Gus said, “I forgot to deposit the last check.”
“Is that bad?” Mychal asked.
“Yeah, can’t we just do it later?” Shawn asked.
“Our account is almost depleted, Shawn.” Gus said, turning to go to the bank, “If we don’t get the check in today then the bills I sent out this morning will bounce and then we’ll be in big trouble.”
“So do it tomorrow.” Shawn shrugged.
“Tomorrow is Sunday, Brainiac.” Mychal said, “Oh, wait. I forgot you lost your brain.”
“Watch it, or I won’t get you a free sucker from the nice bank ladies.” Shawn threatened.
“Oh, I’m so scared.” Mychal said.
“Would you two quit fighting? Shawn, put your seat belt back on. Sit down, Shawn. Stop trying to hit her. Mychal, don’t antagonize him. Stop kicking him. Stop it both of you or I’ll turn this car around. I mean it…”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“I think my head is about to explode from boredom.” Shawn moaned.
“Is that even possible?” Mychal asked.
“It’s about to happen.” Shawn said rubbing his temples, “I think that counts as possible.”
“Do you die from that?” Mychal asked, “Because I think I’m about to do the same thing.”
“Would you two knock it off?” Gus demanded, “It isn’t that bad.”
“Gus, we’ve been standing in the same spot for the past seven minutes and fifty-three seconds.” Mychal said, “Look, I’ve kept track with my phone.”
“Can I help it if everyone in Santa Barbara decided to deposit their check at exactly the same time?” Gus asked.
“Yes, because you should have done it when you got it.” Shawn said, “But you just had to forget and now we’re stuck here with our heads about to explode.”
Shawn ignored Gus’s reply as he turned his head to look around the line of people. There were people all around the building waiting in at least four different lines. In front of him there was a single mother with two annoying toddlers at her feet and a baby in her arms. In the line beside him there was a cantankerous old man with a newspaper in his hand that he was using to hit the teenager that kept trying to steal the wallet out of his back pocket. Shawn turned his head just a little more and almost did a double take.
The man standing behind the teenager was a man in a leather jacket and hiking boots. A black cloth bag was sticking out of the inside pocket of the coat and an unmistakable bulge was at his hip. His eyes flicked back and forth nervously. He looked over to the third line at a man dressed like him. The other man gave a slight nod. Shawn gulped.
“Hey, guys. I think we should go.” Shawn hissed, “Now.”
“What?” Gus asked, “But we only have three more people in front of us.”
“And we’ve been standing here forever already.” Mychal protested, “Why would we suddenly just leave?”
“Because there are at least two guys behind us that are about to rob this place.” Shawn whispered.
“Say what?” Gus nearly shouted.
“Are you sure?” Mychal asked, nervously looking around her.
Shawn nodded, “Look, we’ll just calmly walk out of here and call the cops when we get outside.”
“Great plan.” Gus said, “I vote we do it, like, now.”
“Good idea.” Mychal agreed.
Shawn turned and stepped out of line. Mychal followed close behind with Gus right on her tail. They made it past the two alleged bank robbers and twenty feet from the door when three men dressed in black trench coats walked through the glass doors. Shawn stopped short and gulped. These men didn’t look nervous and they weren’t trying to hide anything. They held their automatic weapons in their hands ready to fire at anyone they wanted. Shawn protectively put Mychal behind him just as two voices shouted simultaneously.
“Nobody move! This is a robbery!”
Shawn wasn’t sure who was more shocked, the unsuspecting bank customers or the two sets of robbers who were now aiming their guns at each other.
“Shawn.” Mychal whispered in his ear, “What now?”
Shawn swallowed, “Drop to the ground.”
“What?” Gus asked.
“Just do it.” Shawn whispered.
What Mychal and Gus failed to notice was that they were directly in the line of fire of the robbers. If they decided to have a war, they would be the first casualties. Slowly, they sank to the ground. Mychal was clinging to Shawn’s jacket for dear life. Her green eyes shot back and forth between the men in the leather jackets and trench coats. She was desperately wishing she was back at the house moving her furniture into her room.
“Drop your weapons.” Trench coat ordered.
“You first.” Leather jacket retorted.
“How about you both drop them.”
Mychal swallowed the breath she was about to take and turned her fearful eyes on Shawn. He was watching the robbers innocently.
Trench coat turned his weapon on Shawn. His two partners kept their guns aimed on the other robbers. The man walked slowly toward Shawn.
“Did you say something?” He asked.
“Yep.” Shawn said, “Want me to repeat it?”
Trench coat scoffed, “I think you’d better shut up.”
“Oh, I will. I just have one question.” Shawn continued, “How is it that both of you guys decided to rob the same bank on the same day at the same time? Don’t you guys have a community calendar or something that says when each idiot is about to rob something and fail miserably?”
Mychal was too shocked to smack the back of his head. The urge to do so was almost overpowering, but her fear was overwhelming. Her fear doubled when Trench coat moved forward and snatched Shawn up by the collar. A cry of protest fell past her lips as Shawn’s jacket was ripped out of her grip. The man ignored her and stared at Shawn.
“Do you have a death wish?” He rasped.
“No, but you must.” Shawn gasped.
“Oh, and why is that? I’m not the one who insulted the man holding a gun to my head.” The man said giving Shawn a violent shake.
“Well, see, the thing is. I knew you were coming.” Shawn said, “Because I’m psychic. You may have read about me in the newspapers, that is if you can read.” The man growled in his face, “Any way. I got a vision that this would happen, so I called the cops right before you burst in here.”
“Really.” The man said unbelievingly, “Forgive me if I don’t believe you.”
“You’re forgiven.” Shawn said patting the man’s hand, “But don’t mind me, I think you have bigger issues to worry about.”
The man looked over at the two nervous men in leather coats and nodded.
“You’re probably right.” Trench coat agreed, “So I better put you out of my misery.”
Trench coat pulled up his gun and brought it down hard on Shawn’s temple. He released Shawn’s collar and watched in satisfaction as he collapsed to the ground. Mychal screamed and crawled to her fallen brother. Shawn looked up at her through half closed lids and blurry vision. He blinked and let his eyes slide close. The scent of pineapple drifted around his clouded head as he slid into darkness.