Changes


Hello, Oscarians!

I apologize for the utter silence here at Oscar’s World, but Life, as they say, happens.

First, the bad news.  In order to take care of some “house cleaning” issues, this site is being shevled, and will only continue to hold the “Archived” Oscar Episodes (1 thru 129).  This means that if you are subscribed here and wish to continue with recieving the latest Oscar news and stories, you will want to subscribe at the New Oscar’s World page at OscarsWorld.ColonelJack.net.

The good news is that not only will the new site be dedicated solely to Oscar and his pals, but you can now LISTEN to the story at http://oscarsworld.podomatic.com.  Some slight editing has occured for the recording process.

Thank you all for your continued support and for your patience over the past several months!

 

Col. Jack

 

Oscar’s World Episode 129: Benched Again


The next day I found Ella sitting on the big rock we called “The Bench”.  She was crying.

She never looked up as I approached.  The wind played with her hair as the limbs above swayed gently to the rhythm of her shaking shoulders.

I stood and watched for a moment, feeling my heart as it was crushed within my chest.

Why did adults have to be so selfish?  Couldn’t they see what they were doing to their kids?

I sometimes wished my parents would divorce.  Then they would stop shouting and arguing all the time, at least.  I wondered if Ella ever felt that way. 

I hadn’t been told that her parents were actually divorcing, but I felt it was what was happening. 

I thought about how my parents never got along, and compared it to the Crabtrees.  Honestly, it seemed to me that Ella’s parents got along wonderfully compared to mine.

I tried to speak, but my damaged heart had made it’s way to my throat so that no sound would come out.  I walked my friend and looked down at her rocking body.  The grief and confusion seemed to pour from every fiber of her in waves.

I had to fight to not fall to my knees.

Finally, with great effort, I sat down next to her and cried. There was nothing else I could do.

Oscar’s World Episode 128 Time Lapse


I  believe I was in shock when I returned home.  I went straight to my room, stretched across the bed and tried to capture my run-away thoughts.  I couldn’t seem to manage the task.  I have no idea how long I had been there when I suddenly realized that Michelle was standing over me.

“I knocked,” she nearly whispered, “but you didn’t answer.  I know you aren’t feeling well, but did you want me to bring you supper?  I cooked hotdogs.”

The concern in her eyes was a little more than I could take.  Instead of risking speaking to her, I nodded.  I didn’t trust my voice not to display the emotions I was trying to get under control.

She matched me nod for nod and left my room.  I buried my head into my pillow.  I couldn’t grasp the amount of pain I was feeling, or even why I was feeling it.  I wanted to dissolve into my bed.  I wished for it; I think I might have even begun to pray for it.
“What is wrong?”  My sister looked confused.

I knew exactly how she felt.

“I don’t know, I’m just worried about Ella, I guess.”  I really wasn’t sure what was wrong with me.
“It’s not like you to not eat your ice cream after you ask for it,” she said.
“What do you mean?”  I asked, then followed her gaze to the empty plate with bread crumbs sitting next to a bowl of what appeared to be melted chocolate ice cream.

Michelle put her hand on my arm and said, “I knew when you came home early something wasn’t right, but when you were cutting up with me while we ate, I thought everything was okay.  You got so quiet after I brought you ice cream, I didn’t know what to think.  Is Ella in trouble?”

It didn’t make sense to me.  The last thing I remember, I was waiting on hotdogs.  Now that I thought about it, I wasn’t hungry anymore, and I could taste processed meat product.  I looked up at Michelle.
“I’m scared, Sissy.” I said.

Oscar’s World Episode 127 No Goodbye


The enemy sentry was ahead, with her back to me.  I had spotted her several minutes before and had been making my way up the dry creekbed as quietly as possible toward her, praying she wouldn’t turn around.

I was crouching, nearly crawling, about ten yards away when a small rock twisted under me, making a “clicking” sound.  I dropped behind a boulder and held my breath.

After what seemed like an eternity, I heard the sentry begin to sing softly.  From the sound, she was facing the other way again.  Good.  She hadn’t seen me.

Even more carefully than before, I raised up, confirmed that she was looking away from me, and began slowly crawling her way.  Just as I was close enough to grab her, the enemy spoke.

“I’ve got peanutbutter crackers,” Ella said.  “Do you want some?”

My stomach answered with a low rumble.

“Sure,” I said.

Ella reached into the pack between her feet and pulled out homemade peanutbutter and crackers in sandwich bags, while I sat down next to her.  She handed me a thermos.

“Cherry Cool-Aid,” she grinned.

The peanutbutter was so thick that we didn’t even attempt conversation.  It was the best lunch I could remember having, and judging by friend’s smile, she was also enjoying it.

I leaned back with my eyes closed and drank in the warmth of the sun. 
‘Can this day get any better,” I thought.

I  could smell our lunch, the dirt, and honeysuckle from a few yards away.  I listened to a distant weathervane creek-crack, a few dozen crickets chirping, and Ella put away our lunch.  I felt her as she laid back next to me on the large rock.

“I think that one looks like a pirate ship,” she nearly hummed.

I opened my eyes.  She was right, and I said so.

“That one looks like a tower,” I added, pointing.

Ella giggled and said, “I don’t think so.”

I shrugged.  It did to me.

In the distance, we heard a door slam.

“Just go then!”  It was Ella’s mom.  “But don’t think for a minute you’re coming back.  Ever!”

Ella rushed to the riverbank closest to her house and, crouching behind a rock, watched what was happening in her yard.  I watched her from where I was.  In that moment, she looked tiny and frail.

“Do you really think I would ever want to come back here?”  It was Ella’s father, and he was shouting.

I heard banging sounds, like things were being thrown.

“I hope she makes you happy!” Ella’s mom seemed to want to double her husband’s volume.

From the shaking of her shoulders, it seemed Ella was crying now.

I heard indistinct shouting, the sound of front doors and car doors opening and closing, opening and closing.  I went to Ella and hugged her.  She wept into my chest.

When the car engine started, Ella pushed me away and clambered up out of the creek.  She was screaming for her father.

“DADDY!” She called, as the car pulled away with the little girl chasing after. 

He never slowed down.

Oscar’s World, Episode 126: Ella and Oscar


Ella was in the creekbed a I rode across the bridge, so I stopped to talk to her.  I leaned my bike against it’s kick-stand and took a step toward her. 

She called up, “so I exist now?”

I looked down at her, confused.

“What?” I finally managed.

She threw a small rock she had been contemplating down  the dry creek bed and watched it bounce away.  Then she turned her dull, interested gaze toward me.

“Now that Her Majesty has departed, you remember your real friends.”

I was taken aback.  I had no idea she didn’t like Mandy until that moment.

“Come on, Elle,” I said, “it’s n-n-not l-l-like that.”

Stammering again.  I winced.

Ella just rolled her eyes and said, “You really DON’T know nothing.”

Her voice sounded a little sad but mostly resigned.

I considered saying something mean, or simply getting on my bicycle and going home.  Instead, I climbed down into the creekbed with Ella.

She punched my shoulder and said, “Goober.”

Then she smiled.

House Chapter 6 Episode 1


Raven threw her head back and laughed.

“You just told me, Sugar!”

Jennifer’s face reflected her puzzlement.  Raven’s laugh simmered to a giggle.

Raven took Jennifer by the hand and lead her over to the table, saying, “Spill it, Baby Girl.”

Jennifer shook her head. 

“Not until you tell me how you know about him,” she said.

Once again, Raven laughed heartily.

“I didn’t know for sure until just now,”  she said, placing the camera on the table.

“What?” Jennifer was still confused.

Raven produced a card from the back pocket of her jeans and handed it to her friend.

“You left this on the counter,” she said. “Special Investigations, Ha!  That’s a good one.  The fact that you have a crush on him was a guess. You been alone long enough, I felt it was a safe one.”

Jennifer blushed, causing Raven to laugh even harder.

Jennifer slowly shook her head, “He is kind of cute…” She suddenly looked serious. “DO you really think it’s… Something weird?”

“I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m certain that ‘weird’ is somewhere in the description!”

“I’m certainly not going call for “special investigations”, no matter how cute he is.”

With that, Jennifer crumpled the business card and threw it toward the trash can between the refrigerator and counter. It fell two feet short of it’s target.

That’s when the scream came from the other room.

Episode 125 Fowl Business


I rode my bicycle to McAllister’s farm and spent the rest of the morning watching the turkey roam around in the dirt. I felt horrible and not even the fowl could do much to cheer me.

I stayed there pining over my lost love until Mrs. McAllister called me in to share lunch with them. This time we had stew and cornbread with tea to wash it down. After her husband went back out to work, the woman placed a Little Debbie and a can of Coke in front of me.

“Here you go, Sweetie,” she said, taking her seat across the table from me. “I’ve been watching you this morning.”

She looked over both shoulders in a conspiratorial fashion, then pulled a change purse from her apron.

“I know how worried you are about that turkey. I mean, turkey’s are only raised for one thing, right?”

I stared at her, confused. What was she talking about? She pulled some bills from the small purse and returned it to her apron. She gently took hold of both of my hands, slipping the money into my palms.

“Here,” she whispered. “You give this to Mr. A and tell him it’s to square the bill on the bird.”

She giggled like she had told a funny joke, but her eyes remained on me, serious and concerned.

I opened my mouth to protest, to tell her that I haddened been upset about the turkey, but all that came out was a tiny squeek. Tears began to flow.

She quickly moved around the table to embrace me, saying, “There, there, Dear. No need to thank me.”

She held me as I wept into her bosom.

House, Chapter 5 Episode 4


Jennifer had opened her mouth, crinkled her brow then closed her mouth again. She had no idea what to say.

“I’m telling you, Sis,” Raven was saying, ” this just ain’t natural.”

Jennifer continued to stare at her friend. She had no reason to doubt the story she had been told, but couldn’t imagine how it could be true. Finally, she went to the sink and wet a paper towel. She rejoined her friend at the muddy footprints.

“Not yet, Baby Girl,” Raven said as Jennifer bent to clean the floor. “I’m taking pictures of this.”

“Why?” Jennifer asked, returning to her full height.

Raven gave Jennifer a “are you really asking me this” glare as she pulled a small digital camera from her purse.

“Documentation, of course.”

“Documentation for what?” Jennifer frowned.

“Your future boyfriend the ghost-hunter,” she said, as she began snapping pictures.

“What? How did you….?” Jennifer was honestly confused.

Raven chuckled, “Girl, you’re as red as my blouse right now. Shut your mouth before you start catching flies.”

“How did you know about Mr. Cannon?”

Episode 124 Bad News


The next morning I was eating breakfast when Michelle came in from the garage where she had just started the washing machine. She poured herself a bowl of corn flakes and sat down next to me. She accepted the remaining half of my banana with a smile and cut it up into the bowl.

“Are you going to miss Amanda?” She asked casually.

Milk flooded my sinuses as I took an ill-timed breath. My sister pounded me on my back until I waived her off.

“What do you mean?” I finally managed to gasp.

“Didn’t you hear? Mike and Amber told me yesterday. Mandy flew home this morning. I really thought you were standing right there with us.”

I was shocked. A bomb had exploded in my gut. How could this be? I had a hint of a memory of talking with Mike, but I couldn’t remember anything that was said.

“She…” I began. My voice refused to cooperate.

I cleared my throat before trying again.

“She’s all ready gone then?”

Something about my face or voice must have shown Michelle how upset I was. She took my right hand in both of hers.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

I tried to smile my gratitude as a single tear tracked down my cheek.

House Chapter 5, Episode 3


That night Jennifer slept for the first time in months. She and Raven had spent the afternoon at the kitchen table catching up. Raven spoke briefly of her small but flourishing practice, but mostly listened intently as Jennifer spoke of her mother’s last days, then the following months watching the decline of her father and hero. She told of how his mind kept “slipping”, causing him to forget where and sometimes who he was. More than once Jennifer broke down sobbing, especially when Raven made her “sit down and rest, Sis,” while she went to tend to the old man calling for “something to drink ‘fore I die of thirst.”

Raven had offered her a pill to let her sleep after promising to tend to the patient throughout the night. Raven was true to her word, and Jennifer slept for a total of twelve hours, not even rousing when the old man began to call out shortly after two in the morning.

“GET OUT OF HERE!” The old man screamed.

Raven jumped up from where she had just dozed on the couch. She took the four steps to his bed.

“Hey, Pops.” she said, pushing the hair back from her eyes, “Mr. Curtis, you having a bad dream, Sweetie?”

He started. He raised a weak right arm, pointing toward the kitchen.

“Tell that no good salesman to get out of my house and leave my Gwen alone!” He was trembling.

From the corner of her eye, Raven saw a man standing in the doorway. She saw that he was a tall man in bib overalls and a flannel shirt. It was her turn to start. When she jerked around to confront the intruder, however, he was gone.

She stared at the empty kitchen, feeling as if her heart might jump from her chest.

“Shouldn’t be HERE!” The old man screamed, raising up from the bed.

Remembering her patient, Raven came back to herself. She grabbed his shoulders and gently pressed him back down to the bed.

“Shhh….” she said, “he’s gone now, Sweetie. Get some sleep, Love.”

Raven spent the rest of the night soothing the old man whenever he awoke, and convincing herself that she had imagined the scruffy looking visitor. SHe had almost succeeded until she went to make coffee the next morning.

That’s when she discovered the muddy footprints in the doorway. What startled her the most was that there was no mud leading to or from the doorway, just in the spot she had almost seen the man watching them.

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