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by Merkin

"Can we go to the park, Grandpa?"

"Do you think we can find it?"  Adrian had come for the weekend, to babysit Timmy for his son and daughter-in-law.

"Oh, yes. I know right where it is. We take the 15 bus. Can we? Can we?"  Although he was nearly six and a big boy, Timmy found it hard not to beg when he wanted something. "It'll be a venture!"

"I think you mean an 'adventure.' Does the park have swings?"

"Oh, yes. And slides, and ducks, and a pond, and -- "

"I think you've sold me, Timmy. But we'd better go now. It's afternoon already."

The bus deposited them right at a busy corner entrance of the huge mid-city park. Timmy clutched his grandfather's hand and stared at all the activity. Some boys in tight jeans and wifebeaters were standing against the iron fence, smoking and talking. One boy with white streaks in his dark hair ran to the curb and leaned into the open window of a car that had pulled up. He waved to the others, opened the car door and slipped inside. The others laughed as the car drove away.

Timmy tugged on Adrian's hand. "This way, Grandpa."

At the swings Adrian soon got tired from pushing Timmy. He went to a nearby park bench and sat to watch as his grandson ran to the slides. The boy was inexhaustible. It had been a good idea to come to the park. The old man nodded and his eyes closed.

Adrian"s eyes snapped open and he sat up, confused. Where was he? Then he remembered. Timmy! He looked around. The boy's jacket was beside him on the bench, but there was no sign of his grandson.

Awkwardly he got to his feet. "Timmy? Timmy? Where are you, boy?"  He looked around desperately. Where could he have gone?

Keeping the bench in sight in case Timmy returned, the old man walked an increasingly larger circle through the playground equipment. This section of the park was quiet and nearly deserted. It was getting late and shadows were beginning to gather. The few children who had been playing when they arrived appeared to have left. My god, what if the boy had headed for the pond? Adrian didn't know what to do. He didn't even know where the pond was located, and if he left the bench and Timmy returned the boy wouldn't know where he was. Adrian was frantic with indecision.

Off in the distance he saw three figures approaching. Thank goodness, maybe he could ask for help. But wait, could it be? The smaller figure in the center looked like his grandson. It was! Timmy dropped the hands of the two boys walking with him and ran toward his grandfather.

Adrian knelt and hugged the boy. "Timmy! I've been so worried! Where did you go?"

"I had to wee, Grandpa, and you were fast asleep, but I knew where to go, but then the bad man tried to get me to go into the smelly toilet with him and Chris and Trey stopped him and brought me back and -- "

Adrian looked up at the two boys. They were wearing tight jeans and wifebeaters and looked familiar. "Boys, I'm so very grateful. I didn't know what to do or where to look, and you've saved Timmy from lord knows what..." Adrian's voice faltered.

"We do know what." His voice harsh, the taller boy stared at the old man. "Little guys like Timmy shouldn't have to run around on their own, Grandpa."

Adrian swallowed hard, and nodded. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have fallen asleep. I need to remember what comes first." He leaned his forehead against Timmy's and felt the boy kiss him on his cheek. When he looked up he saw the boys walking away.

"Wait," called Adrian. "I'd like to thank you more adequately."

The tall one turned and looked back at the old man and his grandson. "You keep that kid safe. That's thanks enough." He turned and the two boys walked on toward the park entrance at the corner.


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There's an old saying my grandma says: "Sometimes appearances can be deceiving." James demonstrates that we should pay attention to these old sayings.

Colin :lol:

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Thank you, fellas. I'm truly grateful for these kind words from such capable writers and editors.

(I may have come up short in this attempt to satisfy Cole's monstrous appetite for new thrills, but I refuse to admit defeat and shall strive to invent even more extraordinary and bizarre situations for his delectation. :lol: )


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