So here it goes, peeps, the third Bartholomew incident. Hope you enjoy it!
I leaned a casual hip on the table edge and watched cousin Laura open and close cabinet doors, muttering to herself. “What are you looking for?” I asked when it was obvious she hadn’t noticed me.
My cousin stiffened, turned her head slowly and smiled at me, the kind of smile that made me straighten and check my back for a sticky note, begging for a kick to the butt.
Dropping a wooden spatula on the counter, she turned and faced me. “You’re my savior!” There was a maniacal gleam in her eyes I wasn’t sure could be blamed on her upcoming nuptials.
“Yeah?” I took a cautious step back, calculating how fast I could run and trying to remember if there was a key for the guest bedroom door.
She came closer, hands outstretched, a patch of white powder on her cheek. “You still like cookie dough, don’t you?”
I scanned the kitchen counter, found no bowl filled with the sticky dough. “Sure. Want me to taste it?”
“No, no,” she cackled, lowered her voice. “I need you to go pick me some baking soda. I sent Barth earlier and he brought me some white powder I suspect he picked from the meth lab fronting as the grocery store on the corner road.” She showed me a small plastic bag with the label ‘sodium bicarb’ written in black marker. “I think it’s a code for meth.”
“You know, I think baking soda and sodium bicarb is the same thing,” I mused.
“Maybe,” Laura said, raising the bag to my nose. The powder looked suspiciously like sugar, and it smelled like bathroom cleaner and paint thinner.
My eyebrows shot up. I had no idea how meth looked or how it was cooked, but paint thinner definitely didn’t go with cookies.
“You have to help me. I need to get rid of this and I need real baking soda before everyone comes back.”
“So what, you want me to go to the grocery where meth is being cooked and – what?”
“No,” Laura scoffed, “to the Walmart.”
“But that’s seven blocks away.”
“Eight, actually, and Barth can drive you.”
Before Laura could say anything more, Barth strolled into the kitchen.
“I heard my name,” he said, smiling at me.
I suddenly needed to get out of there fast. “You know what,” I said, snatching the bag from her hand, “I’ll go get you what you need. Anything else?”
“A bag of chocolate chips, I think I’ll make another batch.”
“You’re goin’ out?” Barth asked, taking out keys from his pocket, “I’ll drive you.”
“Thanks, but no, Barf.”
“That’s what I said.”
“I’ll drive you,” he insisted.
“No,” I enunciated slowly, “I’d like to walk and exercise my legs.”
“Your legs look fine to me.” He gave said legs an appraising look that caused Laura to burst out laughing. Her guffaw turned to sniffs when she caught the death glare I aimed her way. I turned to Barth and gave him a practiced smile people claimed made me look deranged.
Barth, of course, smiled right back.
“I’m going to walk, Barf, and that’s that.” I turned and left through the back door, hurrying to cover more ground faster.
I was congratulating myself for a day gone without a Barth incident when there, right in front of me was the LaCross captain I’d crushed on my entire high school year.
Tom turned around, our eyes met, and everything happened in slow motion. He smiled with recognition. I squealed, covered my mouth. Tom took a step toward me. That’s when Barth came in, charging Tom like an enraged bull. Shouts and punches and grunts rang out and because I was a total fool, I threw myself on Barth, meaning to drag him off, but I ended up pinning Tom under our combined weight.
I’ll skip the embarrassing part where people dragged us off, the ride in the back of a police car and the bag of sodium bicarb that may or may not have been meth still in my pocket.
“You were screamin’,” Barth said from the cell next to mine.
“It’s called a squeal, it’s a scream of happiness.”
“You raised your arms to surrender.”
“I was going to hug him.”
“You helped me subdue him.”
“Barf,” I said through gritted teeth, “If you don’t stop arguing, I’m going to walk out of this cell only to be put in another for murder.”
“What? Nonsense, we didn’t even give him a scratch.”
“Guard!” I shouted. “Please!”
To read the previous Bartholomew incidents, check it out here:
The Panty liner incident: https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/pun-fun-and-carefree/
The Recliner Incident: https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/2019/08/26/the-recliner-incident/
Hope you had fun – and yes, it’s fiction!