Author’s Note: The Sacred Seven Decades was written almost two years ago. This parental punishment as a climacteric element slashing through the story grilled me up while I was in an infuriating state of coming up with an idea.
Genre: Drama/Comedy/Magical Realism
What reels on after, how the main characters deal with it, it is all up to you to read on and find out.
Here’s the scene:
“We are so dead,” I whisper back.
And the back door swipes open! Dylan and I stand in terror — Dad is behind the steering wheel, mom is plopped in the passenger’s seat, and the delightful Dawson folks are both postured in the second row — all heads are fixed straight ahead — all are in a hushed fury!
What are they up to? What would be our harsh punishment? What would happen to me and Dylan?
After a little over 30 minutes of dreadful silence, we pull into the beach house driveway. We all skid out of the SUV, and instantly — mom gongs at us, “Both of you! Get inside! And no fooling around! Living room! Now!”
I lead Dylan to the front door and punch the security code in to unlock it. As I am about to turn the knob, moms and dads herald a laugh, then a merry conversation escalates while they unload the trunk. We groove on the entertainment — discomfited yet thrilled. Regardless, our punitive measure awaits!
“I do not feel good about this,” Dylan grunts.
“Me neither,” I agree.
“They’re pulling some atrocious tricks on us.”
Dylan and I step inside — and she zips out a frightening gasp as she looks around — “Walnut –”
“Five bedrooms upstairs,” I shrug. “Painted walls — Walls — Walls — Just walls everywhere — and things — just things –” I grab her by the wrist and drag her into the living room. “Let’s wait for their verdict.” We sit beside each other on the couch, and she screeches. “Calm down,” I yelp. “You’re making me freaking nervous, too.”
“Now all my nerves are in some deadly dogfight,” she groans.
Moms and dads walk in, carrying the delightful Dawson folks’ belongings, then all four of them empty their hands – right away — silently — Moms conquer the sofa chairs, facing us — Dads stand next to each other, frowning — What’s going to happen now? Please — be nice — My moral acumen is already in a perfect place here!
“Why did you do it?” dad questions me.
“I had to protect my job and the sweet darlings,” I answer, and all four of them clock — convinced looks — with a hint of restraint as a side blur!
“Why did you do it?” Mr. Dawson questions Dylan.
“I just wanted to be nice and accommodating to her,” Dylan replies, “though I had already turned her down many times.”
“We have to impose a 1-meter rule between you two as a punishment,” mom concludes.
“WHAAAT???!!!” Dylan and I thump on to our feet — at once!
“One meter!” dad yelps. “That’s two inches! Spread away!”
“Wait a minute –” I panic —
“It wasn’t our fault!” Dylan bounces.
“Why would you punish us for something that we didn’t mean to do?” I protest.
“Thank you!” Dylan barks, acknowledging my statement.
“First of all,” dad points at me, “you could work for A SANE BOSS in the same industry, then find ways to rescue the sweet darlings! Second of all, you already knew she was a WITCH no matter what mask she would wear to lure you into her snare! And third of all, YOU’RE OUR DAUGHTER who is a lot SMARTER and has MORAL INTEGRITY to share with the world! Had I known you were with her, I would kidnap you right away — WITHOUT WARNING!!!”
“Mr. Mason Hansel!” mom reprimands him. “Your hypertension. Take it easy.”
“I’m sorry, dad,” I mumble.
“And we have no face to show around Sherwood Park anymore,” Mr. Dawson throws at Dylan. “Let alone the rest of Alberta! Your mother and I could not even get through the egg purchase this morning! How are we gonna get out of this wrack-up now?”
“What was it that they said that almost sent you to the park pond to swim with the ducks?” Mrs. Dawson inquires.
“Oh, I don’t even want to recall any of it anymore,” Mr. Dawson fumes.
“I’m sorry, dad,” Dylan sobs.
“Separate rooms!” mom rules.
“WHAAAT???!!!” Dylan and I squawk in chorus!
“For three consecutive nights!” mom continues. “Cameras can see every hallway and every corner –” — she points to me — “You know that!” — back to the verdict — “You break it once, the restraining order extends to 7 meters and one more week –”
“Oh my god!” Dylan and I gripe – catching each other with a rickety look.
“You break it twice,” she carries on, “you’re both grounded in your rooms for 24 hours long! You don’t want us to keep going, do you?”
“NO!” Dylan and I cringe.
“Until when?” I ask.
“If you’re both in your best behavior,” mom replies, “it should be over by Friday night, 9 o’clock.”
“Oh my god,” Dylan and I moan.