No Howies were harmed during the writing of this introduction…
How long they had been walking no one knew for sure. Kevin went to look at his watch, wiping the sweat off his brow as he did. Why he left his hat in the car was a mystery, but they had walked too far to turn back now.
“How’s everyone holding up?” He asked carefully eyeing each boy as they trotted along the paved road leading to nowhere.
His eyes first went to his cousin, Brian the one who had gone through so much as a child. No one was sure he was even going to live to see ten but yet here he was, a thirty year old father. Brian feeling his cousin’s eyes on him looked up and smiled, it was hard to see his eyes through the tinted sunglasses he wore, but there no doubt was concern etched in his brow.
Next Kevin’s eyes traveled across from Brian over to Howie who was walking oddly slow for the man who they all nicknamed Trump Junior.
“D? You okay?”
“Yeah, I guess I’m letting the sun get to me a little bit.”
“You want some of my water” AJ asked as he quickened his pace to match the Latino’s.
Howie grabbed the water from AJ and took a few swigs, “Thanks J.”
“No problem bro…”
AJ, now there was someone Kevin was fiercely proud of; he had overcome so much over the last few years, 2 ½ years sober, and now a whole new person.
Last but not least hanging in the back, head bowed down to watch his own feet, walked Nick. Kevin slowed his own pace to match his youngest friend’s, “How you doing little man?”
“Good, I’m a little worried about Howie; he doesn’t seem to be handling the sun all that well.”
“It’ll all work out Nicky, how are you feeling?”
“I’m okay but Kevin I’m kind of scared about all of this I mean where are we going anyway?”
Kevin placed his arm around Nick, “Not sure buddy, but we’ll be okay.”
Just as he said that Howie fell to the ground which made all four men run to his aide…
Writer: Okay I’m going to have to stop this here.
The boys reaching down to help Howie suddenly stopped in their tracks. ..Looking around nervous, anxious and confused Brian was the first one to call out to the voice.
Writer: NO you idiot not God.
Brian still confused took a few steps back, “Did God just call me an idiot?” AJ now stood up and walked over to Brian and both men gazed up at the sun.
“AJ am I hearing things or did you hear that too?”
“No I heard…who is there? We need help our friend is hurt.”
Writer: I think that’s a bad idea
“Huh?” Both AJ and Brian said at the same time, now Nick slowly made his way over to his baffled friends.
Writer: It wouldn’t work if Howie is the one that falls because typically in fan fiction situations it tends to be Nick who gets hurt. My characterizations are all wrong.
“What the hell is happening here,” Nick said staring at the tree he was convinced was talking to him.
Kevin who had been ignoring the scene which was gradually beginning to unfold before his eyes left Howie’s side and ventured over to the rest.
Writer: See what happened? Poor Howie just collapsed and already all four of you have left him. It works much better with Nick falling…Nick collapse would you?
“Why is the tree telling me to collapse Kevin? Am I having like a delusion or something?”
Kevin now stood with a protective arm around Nick and one around AJ. He tried to wrap a protective leg around Brian but he was afraid he would fall.
“Uh guys a little help here?” Howie said from his position on the ground as he lay with his arms protectively wrapped around his midsection.”
Writer: Okay you see why it’s not working now boys?
“Who are you?” Kevin asked the air.
Writer: I’m the writer of this story and I’m kind of sad because I don’t want this story to suck!
“Story? What story?” Kevin was now walking towards the middle of the road away from the other boys.
“Guys I’m kind of sick here so if you could help that would be just great.” Howie pleaded off in the distance.
Writer: Didn’t you wonder why you are walking in the middle of nowhere Kevin? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?
Kevin thought about this for a few minutes before responding, “Well a little but our car broke down.”
Writer: So all of you leave the car to go for help? No one brings a cell phone?
“Well, I didn’t really think about it…”
Writer: Exactly, it makes no sense and then Howie collapses? That just seems odd.
Nick walked slowly and cautiously over to Kevin and tapped him on the shoulder, “Kev when you’re done talking to the tree we should probably continue on for help.”
Writer: I’m not a tree…jeez now I know why you are always so stereotypically dumb.
“Wow that tree sure is mean!”
Writer: For the love of God I’m not a…oh never mind you’ll figure it out eventually.
“I think I may be dying people… some help would be just great over here.” Finally everyone turned their attention back to Howie who was struggling to sit up.
“What happened? Why was everyone over there staring up at that tree?” Howie asked once the guys made their way back to his side.
“Because it was talking and telling us to do things.” Nick said once again looking back at the tree.
Writer: I was telling them what a bad idea it was for you to be the one to fall sick because classically no one seems to care about you one way or the other.
Nick moved in to Howie and bent down to whisper in his ear, “That tree is hella mean D, don’t listen to it.”
“Have you all lost your ever loving minds?” Howie asked in disbelief.
Writer: No they haven’t Howie, it’s just that we want this story to be good so we’re kind of experimenting how to make this the best story ever.
“The tree is confusing me.” Nick said to Brian who was grasping a picture of his wife in one hand and his cross in the other.
Writer: I can tell you are going to annoy me by the end of the story I might have to just give you some horrible disease and make you die or something Nick.
“Hey lay off my little brother!” Kevin said now holding a fist in the air at the tree.
Writer: And you know you don’t always have to be so stereotypically heroic Kevin. You’re not everyone’s hero. Just like we don’t need to hear about Brian being a daddy and your cousin and AJ being 21/2 years sober.
“What’s wrong with me being 21/2 years sober? I’m damn proud of that fact.” AJ said walking towards the tree angrily.
Writer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it…yawn, it’s old and tired.
“So what exactly are you getting at?” Kevin said helping Howie to his feet.
Writer: I am getting at this… an adventure boys where you are the main characters. You’ll jump from plot to plot until we find the perfect fit for you.
“You mean kind of like that three bear’s story?” AJ asked nodding his head.
“Oh yeah Baylee loves that one. He mimics me saying it was just right…and then Leigh and I act out the parts.”
“Can I make a request that Leighanne does not appear anywhere in this story?” Nick whispered covering his face so Brian couldn’t see his lips moving.
Writer: Now that is the smartest thing you have said so far Nick.
“So what happens next then? Are we going to get some help?” Kevin asked still suspicious and why wouldn’t he be? There was an inanimate object talking to him.
Writer: I am NOT an inanimate object I’m the writer!
Writer: Why am I arguing with myself?
Kevin shrugged and ruffled Nick’s hair just as a pinkish car suddenly appeared from over the horizon.
Writer: And this my friends is how your story really starts…
“If this is how it starts what was all that we just went through?” AJ asked accusingly.
Writer: It’s called an introduction if you read more than porn magazines you would know that!
“So no more explanations about why I collapsed then?” Howie asked now standing and feeling fine.
Writer: Nope unfortunately that is what we call a stupid idea.
“Bummer!” Howie sighed as the pink car stopped and out came a beautiful blonde girl…
Hope you guys enjoy this! Just Marina will be up next Friday with chapter 2 ;)