My fox ate my cake, p.1

My Fox Ate My Cake, page 1

 

My Fox Ate My Cake
 

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My Fox Ate My Cake


  MY FOX ATE MY CAKE

  DAVID BLAZE

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used factiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  Copyright © 2017 by David Blaze

  All Rights Reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the author is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

  FRIDAY AFTERNOON

  I stared across the rickety old table and into the eyes of my sworn enemy — Shane Connors. The school bully had grown another two inches taller and three times meaner than the first day I met him. I wanted to crawl under the table and hide forever.

  It was my twelfth birthday party and my mom had invited half of the school to surprise me in my backyard. I was surprised alright. Shane had been standing in the middle of everyone, pounding his fists and laughing at me. It was my fault he was there. I never told my mom about him and the homework assignment I wrote for him.

  She had set the backyard up with tons of games she thought the kids would love, like Poop the Potato — where two kids raced with potatoes between their legs then ‘pooped’ the potatoes into buckets. Seriously? I wasn’t exactly the coolest guy at school, but whatever reputation I had was destroyed with the word Poop.

  I glanced across the yard at my house and through the sliding glass door. All of the adults were inside doing whatever adults do. My mom looked back at me, smiled, and gave me two thumbs up. I love my mom and I’d do anything for her. But she had created my worst nightmare on my biggest day.

  She had put together another table covered with every kind of candy you can imagine. She called it a candy buffet. Chocolate, licorice, mints, gummies… everything! The candy was piled so high that it would take weeks to eat it all.

  But there was one problem. One major problem.

  My mom had decided whoever won each game would win a handful of candy. It sounded fair but Shane won every game. He had a plastic bag full of candy he kept waving in front of our faces. Every other kid complained to me that they couldn’t get any.

  I flinched when Shane stretched his arm across the unsteady table. He rested his elbow on the table and raised his hand straight up. “You’re going to lose, Jonah,” he snickered. “You know why?” He flexed his arm and stared at his biceps. “Because that’s what losers do, Jonah.” I bit my lip because I didn’t like being called that name and he knew it.

  This was an arm wrestling contest, and he had already beaten every other kid there. He was so big and strong that it was a joke to think anyone could win against him. I’d be lucky enough to walk away without a cast on my hand.

  I looked around at all the kids surrounding us in a circle. There were at least thirty of them. Most of them were on my side of the table. My mind screamed for one of them to take my place. My heart raced in fear. This didn’t feel like a birthday party at all!

  I took a deep breath and put my elbow next to Shane’s on the table. I locked my hand with his and sat up straight. Maybe I could lessen the impact of my hand being crushed.

  My cousin Dana leaned across the table and asked if we were ready. I nodded. She had light brown hair tied back in two ponytails and huge dimples when she smiled. But she seldom smiled. She was only seven years old and was always in charge of everything. Some people would call her bossy. I wondered how we could come from the same family. “Go!” she shouted.

  I tightened my grip and pressed against Shane’s hand as hard as I could. My only goal was to walk away without someone calling an ambulance for me.

  But that didn’t happen.

  My hand didn’t sway one way or the other. I looked back into Shane’s eyes, confused. He was sweating, and pushing as hard as he could. Was this really happening? I wouldn’t have thought it in a million years, but I was as strong as him.

  Dana looked at me and almost smiled. She shouted my name. “Joe!” I’m glad she didn’t call me Jonah. I have my reasons for being called Joe. Dana turned to each side and shouted, “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!”

  The other kids joined her and chanted in unison, “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!” I felt stronger every time they shouted my name. Shane’s hand began to sink toward the table. This was really happening! I was going to beat him!

  “You can do it, Joe,” Melissa assured me from the side. She was pretty with her huge smile and long brown ponytails. I remembered the first time I met her in school a few months ago. She gave me hope. I wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend yet, but if I was, I’d want it to be her. “I believe in you.”

  For the first time ever, I saw fear in Shane’s eyes. I’ll never forget how embarrassed he was after reading the paper I wrote for him at school. I had avoided him every day after that until now. I thought for sure he would beat me up.

  Shane’s hand was only inches from the table. I was about to win. Why had I been so afraid of him? I needed to be more like Dana. She was small and young, but she wasn’t afraid of anyone. I smirked at Shane right before I tapped his hand on the table.

  But that didn’t happened.

  Shane lurched forward. A sharp pain shot through my leg. Not the kind of pain that makes you want to find an Aspirin. This was the kind of pain that made me want to scream like a fox!

  I lost my concentration. Shane slammed my hand on the table, then jumped out of his seat and threw his arms up in victory.

  I fell out of my chair and grabbed my leg. It was swelling up like a basketball. The pain was unbearable. I panted so hard I could barely breathe. I wanted to vomit. I pointed at Shane. “You cheated.”

  Melissa kneeled next to me. “Are you okay?”

  I shook my head. I took a few deep breaths and let my heartbeat slow down. “He kicked me,” I complained. “I was going to win, and he kicked me.”

  Shane towered over me and laughed. It reminded me of the first day I met him. He had shoved me down and stood over me just like now. “You should’ve never messed with me,” he barked. “Now you’re going to pay.”

  Before I could respond, Dana jumped in front of Shane and pushed him back. He didn’t move far because she was so much younger and smaller than him. “Back off, you big lug!” she shouted. “Leave him alone!”

  Shane looked past her and down at me. He howled like this was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. “You can’t even fight for yourself,” he spit at me. “A little girl has to do it for you. How pathetic!”

  One kid in the crowd chuckled. Everyone else stared with blank expressions. None of them were brave enough to stand up to this monster, but my little cousin was. I stood up slowly and balanced my weight on my good leg. I was as wobbly as the table we were just sitting at.

  Dana turned to face me and held her palm out. “I’ve got this,” she said confidently. And I knew she did, so I nodded. I stood close because I wasn’t going to let anything bad happen to her. “You know what else is pathetic?” she asked as she faced Shane again. He looked like a mountain in front of her. “It’s pathetic when it takes a little girl like me to beat a big girl like you.”

  Everyone laughed and cheered for Dana. They pointed at Shane and said things like, “She called him a girl!” and “He’s a big girl!” They hooted and hollered until Shane grabbed his bag of candy and marched right past me.

  “You’re dead meat,” he promised me before he disappeared back into the house. I had no doubt he meant every word.

  Dana grabbed my hand and held it up as high as she could. “Winner!” she declared. I knew she meant I was the winner of the arm wrestling match, b
ut I had won so much more. Everyone cheered for me.

  I looked over at the huge table of candy, knowing I had won the next handful. It was too far for me to walk until the throbbing in my leg went away. “Melissa, get two handfuls of candy for me please.”

  She gave me a confused, weird look. I could tell she was disappointed I was willing to break the rules. We were only allowed to take one handful when we won. “It’s okay,” I told her. “It’s my party, so it’s my candy.”

  She sighed before walking to the table and doing exactly what I asked. When she returned, she shoved her hands toward me full of candy. “Just take it,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re not the person I thought you were.”

  “I’m sorry,” I replied, feeling like I had lost a friend. I pointed at all the kids around us. “But that candy’s not for me. It’s for everyone else.” They had been complaining all afternoon that they couldn’t get any candy because Shane kept winning it all. This was my way of making things right.

  The kids rushed to Melissa and accepted the candy from her. She wouldn’t stop smiling at me. I had a feeling we were still friends.

  “Let’s hear it for Joe!” Dana shouted, standing by my side and holding my arm up again. Everyone chanted with her like before. “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!”

  It was a wonderful feeling, and I wish I could say the rest of the day was as awesome. But even after everything that had happened with Shane, it was all about to get ten times worse.

  LATER FRIDAY

  I tried my best not to smile when my mom and Uncle Mike walked into the backyard, holding a huge chocolate cake and singing Happy Birthday. I was trying to look cool around my friends, but I was too excited to hide it. Officially twelve years old and one year away from being a teenager. Almost there!

  My mom set the cake down on the same rickety table I had arm wrestled Shane on. Where was he at? His dad, Mr. Connors, stood behind my mom and uncle with all the other parents. He had a smelly cigar in his mouth the last time I saw him. He tried to take this house away from us when we moved into it and my mom couldn’t pay my late great-grandma’s property taxes. I didn’t trust him.

  The other kids hovered over me and the cake. They were starving because the candy they got wasn’t much at all.

  “Make a wish, Jonah,” my mom said. She was the only person allowed to call me that name. I only wanted one thing at that moment. I wished Fox was there to share this day with me. My stomach hurt just thinking about it. My best friend couldn’t be there for his own protection.

  After I blew the candles out, my uncle cut the cake and handed it in small plates to the kids. They devoured it right away and begged for more. I could only laugh.

  “Why are you limping?” my mom asked.

  I had forgotten about my bad leg. I didn’t want her to know about Shane and worry about me. I also didn’t want my uncle to hear that Dana challenged a guy ten times her size. My mom had done a lot to make this party happen and surprise me. I wasn’t going to ruin it for her. “I banged it against that table,” I told her, pointing at it.

  “It’s pretty bad,” she said, sounding concerned. “Come inside when you’re done and we’ll clean it up.” I looked down at it. It was as red as an apple. “Before you do anything else — someone wants to wish you a happy birthday. He’s pretty shy.” She motioned for me to step away from the other kids.

  I sighed and threw my hands up. We had been playing games in the backyard for what felt like hours and I could barely stand up. Now some kid wanted to wish me happy birthday? It had to be Shy Steve. That guy always sat by himself and avoided everyone.

  I hobbled behind my mom past the outhouse and chicken coop. I remembered the first time I saw Fox there. I thought he was a dog — even with his brown hair that was almost orange, chest and tail that were white, and paws as black as night. I had fallen flat on my butt when he stood up on two legs and talked to me like a little kid. Ha!

  My mom stopped by the back fence and faced me.

  “What?” I asked her. “Why are we here?” I knew the answer when I saw bright blue eyes peering through the bushes.

  It was Fox!

  “I’ll give you two a few minutes,” my mom promised. She smiled and headed back towards the party. We were well out of view of everyone. This was the one gift I wanted. I hadn’t seen Fox in months. He had been searching for something.

  He leaped over the fence and stood in front of me on his two hind legs. It amazed me how much he moved like a human. I was worried because he wasn’t smiling anymore and had a serious look on his face. “If you dig a hole over there,” he said, pointing to the far end of the fence, “you’ll make it to China.” He rubbed his chin and smirked. “And you know what they have in China?”

  “Gold!” we both shouted at the same time. I couldn’t stop smiling. He had tricked me once, but I researched it on the internet. You can’t dig a hole to China.

  “And why?” he continued.

  “Because they have rainbows!” we said together. We both fell down laughing. My sides hurt as much from laughing as my bad leg hurt from Shane’s kick. Fox kept rolling over and jumping up and down. I missed this. I wished he could stay with me, but he was a wild animal. I was grateful for any time I could spend with him.

  “I want to give you this,” Fox said. I sat up when he handed me a wrapped present. “It’s not much, and your mom helped.”

  It was awesome that he got me something for my birthday. He couldn’t go into stores or even be seen in public. We agreed it was dangerous if other people found out what Fox could do. I opened the package to find a silver bracelet. “Thanks, Fox!”

  “We’re best friends, right?” he asked me. Of course we were. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

  “We sure are,” I promised him.

  He wiped his forehead with a paw. “That’s a good thing. Because otherwise I would look ridiculous in this.” He had a bracelet just like mine beneath his paw. My mom had somehow fitted it for him.

  I was grateful to have him in my life. I don’t know how I ever lived without him. I couldn’t explain our friendship to anyone else, but I never wanted to lose it.

  I turned when a twig snapped behind me.

  Shane was standing there with his cell phone pointed at us. It took a second for me to realize he had recorded Fox talking to me. My heart stopped. This couldn’t be happening!

  “I knew you were a freak. I’ve got you now,” Shane threatened.

  I faced Fox, pointed at the fence, and shouted, “Run!”

  He leaped over the fence and disappeared back into the woods. I stared into the bushes and tried to figure out how to explain this to Shane. Surely he had a heart and wouldn’t put Fox into any danger. I had to convince him to delete that video on his phone. I took a deep breath, prepared to beg my sworn enemy, and turned back to face him.

  He was gone!

  I watched him race past the outhouse and back into the crowd of kids and parents.

  He was going to tell all the other kids and adults what he saw and then show them the proof. I ignored the pain in my leg and ran after him. I had no idea what he planned to do with that video, but it couldn’t be good. I had embarrassed him more than once and he wanted to destroy me.

  The backyard with crowded was kids and adults when I reached it — talking, laughing, pooping potatoes — none of them realizing my whole world was about to fall apart. I scanned through the crowd until I saw Shane next to the candy table by the back door.

  He was with his dad, Mr. Connors. I couldn’t breathe. Shane had his cell phone in front of his dad’s face, playing the video he had recorded. They both looked up and stared at me.

  I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed.

  Mr. Connors grabbed Shane and headed out of the yard. I couldn’t let that happen.

  “Stop!” I yelled. Everyone froze and stared at me. Then Mr. Connors did something I never expected.

  He reached back to the candy table, grabbed two huge bowls full of candy,
tossed the candy into the air and in front of me. “Candy for everyone!” he shouted.

  The kids were scattered all over the backyard, but it only took a second for all of them to run in front of me and snatch the candy. They pushed and shoved. They were animals! And they completely blocked me!

  I fought my way through the crowd, one kid at a time — desperate to get to Shane and his dad. Time was running out.

  When I made it to the candy table, they were gone. The phone was gone. The video was gone. My hopes were gone. Tires squealed from the front yard. Shane and his dad were long gone.

  “Is something wrong?” my mom asked, standing in front of me. “There’s a lot more candy. And you have to eat some of your cake.” She was the only person who could help me now. She had saved me more than once.

  “Yep,” my uncle Mike said, walking up to us with a plate full of cake in his hands. He had frosting all over his lips. “No one bakes a cake like your mom.”

  I tried my best not to cry, but I couldn’t help it.

  “Jonah,” my mom said, “what’s going on?” I could tell her, because she knew about Fox. But I couldn’t tell my uncle. He almost found out about Fox the same night my mom had, but we decided not to tell him. He was, after all, a hunter. The fewer people who knew we had a walking, talking fox — the better.

  “They know,” I told my mom.

  She gave me a confused look until I nodded at her. Then her eyes got big. “Who?”

  I shook my head and balled my fists in anger. “Mr. Connors and his son.” My stomach ached. “They recorded it.”

  Her eyes got even bigger. She searched through the crowd and realized Shane and his dad were gone. She cleared her throat and said, “Okay.” She turned to my uncle. “We need to get everyone out of here. The party’s over.”

  He stared at his plate and complained, “But I just started eating this cake.” She grabbed him and turned him toward the kids and adults.

 
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