The Bellingham boys and the masquerade ball- A short story *warning: contains partial nudity of a barbarian
· 24 October 2004 ·

Richard awoke late and groggy. He flopped his head onto the right side of the pillow for a bleary stare at the clock. 9Am? “ Aiiyeeeee!” He screamed, waking Rich in his horror, who also tumbled out of bed. “Shit, man” they said as the met in the hall, pulling their pants on as they attempted conversation. “We need get moving!”

The two boys chomped their breakfasts of assorted cereals, and made a procession of phone calls to their friends. “Lets, go to the Burnets!” was the rallying cry. Kyle, Riley, Rich and Richard finally packed the car with a huge fruit salad, a loaf of zucchini bread and a pumpkin dressed up as Albert Einstein. It was to be a masked ball for Lucy’s birthday. Excitement and laughter soon filled the car, overpowering the Subaru’s defrost system. The windows stayed fogged until a sock was found to wipe with. And who wouldn’t be wild with anticipation? The burnets were renowned for the wonderful atmosphere, of love, compassion, hill-rolling, swing spinning, woodland walks, dancing and swordfights.

In Anacortes, the troop picked up four new recruits, Phillip, Tyler, Liz Pentela, and Liz’s friend. The car then stopped at Richard parents house. 8 people don’t fit very comfortably into five seats, so their idea was to borrow Richards mom’s Taurus Wagon. Luck was not with the troop, for there was no one at home. So off they went, all cuddled up, Two in the back, four in the middle seat, two in the front. Needless to say it was a very warm ride. The crowded car talked watched the country side roll by. Richard’s head fell sleeping on Philip’s lap. And there it stayed, dreaming of the party until the car pulled onto Lucy Lane.

The troop decided to don their masks, for secrecy, and then make a entrance on foot. Riley, the driver, was wearing his barbarian costume. A full garb of sword, oversized dead animal hat, and uni-brow. But underneath he wore clothing from the 80’s party the night before. Petit Anacortes volley ball shorts from 1970 and a shirt that proclaimed “computersaurus Rex” were his fashion statements. Other outfits included a woodland owl mask, on Philip, a colorful egg-carton mask for rich, and a shaman mask for Richard, with barnacles eyes and menacing broken shell teeth.

They troop was greeted with loving arms as they stormed the driveway. For how good it was, they all thought, to hug these friends again. Ambient swords clanked and laughter volleyed as Lucy walked them hand in hand towards her home. A Redwall, scene greeted the travelers, as they spread through out the house, finding friends of a year past. Their noses collectively tingled as the smell of baked bread filled the sixteen nostrils. Food had been laid, temping taste on the table, and fall leaves hung on yarn from the ceiling of an otherwise empty living room. Oh, but my friends, this house was far from empty! School mates, Lucy’s siblings, four with the latest addition of bright eyed and curious Gabriel, friends of Lucy’s siblings, the Burnet parents, and the Brunets sheep dog all filled the space with mirth and friendship.

The masks were all different and all entertaining. Some fit their owners very well. Lucy’s brother Ben donned a devil outfit and mask. He could be heard outside thrashing any challenger with the rapiers from the school play. “The devil always wins!” he would snort, as stood over each opponent who fell to his blade.

The evening bounced along. Mr. Burnet marched in from the Alpaca corrals, and was whelmed by his students of past and present. He picked up Gabe, his youngest, and they played outside with the broken handle of Ben’s devil trident. Actually, Gabe ran about swinging the plastic sticks in true ninja fashion, squealing happily with each stroke, as Mr. Brurnet chuckled.

Later, after chess games were finished, bellies were full, and swords rested wearily on the porch, the remaining boys and girls, sat talking in Mr. Burnets towering library. Riley, the barbarian, began to feel restless with carnal lust, and started to strip. He tore off his pants and jacket revealing his sinfully small shorts. Riley danced dirty, to music no one else could hear, and the room rumbled with laugher and giggles.

All good things must come to an end. Fortunately all good things at the Burnet’s end with long hugfull goodbyes. Lucy promised Richard to teach him her marvelously easy and scrumptious bread recipe. Riley danced his last dance. And every one rushed to the car, hugging as they went; sorry that it would always be too long before they were in such good company again, but thankful that somewhere in the in the trees of South Whidbey lives a family of friends beyond compare.

Written by Richard Reeves


  1. Richard Halvorsen    Oct 25, 09:18 PM    #

  2. I. Perry Elvrum    Oct 26, 02:05 PM    #