I’d like to start this one off on a slightly more serious note. As the holidays are approaching, we should all look to give back a bit. For those of you who may have some extra money, think about donating a couple dollars to those less fortunate. One of my favorites is Toys for Tots, but there are a ton out there to choose from. ’Tis the season, loyal readers. Make someone out there smile.
Alright, now that the sappiness is out of the way, last we left off, Legno, with Timothy as his guide, was off to see the witch of the Sicilian forests (no, not you, Aunt Adela). Can she do for Legno what she did for Timothy? Let’s find out in Act 2, Part 3 of Wood You Be Mine?
“Truth be told, I don’t know why she didn’t. Boredom, perhaps? Or maybe just loneliness.”
“You never asked?” said a baffled Legno.
“This is going to sound silly,” Timothy began, “but I suppose I was afraid of knowing the truth. Like if I were to look at it too closely, I might see the cracks beneath the surface of the whole thing. Like knowing the truth would be the pinch that woke me up from the dream.”
“Is that why you didn’t stick around?”
“I did for a while; I owed the old girl that much. So I spent time with her, conversed with her, helped her prepare her meals, and the like. As I said earlier, I believe she just felt like having some companionship.”
“Sounds kind of nice, I suppose.”
“It was for a time. She taught me everything I know. But after a while, I knew that I needed to move on.”
At this point, Legno’s investment in Timothy’s story began to wane. If girls or odd bodily functions weren’t involved, he usually couldn’t care less. Changing the subject to something of more interest, Legno asked, “Could you tell me more about you wife?”
“Oh, certainly. She was someone I had known for some time, but I never had the confidence to tell her how I felt. After I became what I am now, I realized it was finally my time. We fell in love and are now happily married with seven million children.”
“Good Lord, seven million? Your stamina must be out of control. And I can’t even begin to imagine what she looks like down there after popping out all those kids.”
“I think we should change the…”
“I once saw a picture of a guy who lost a big chunk of his torso after a bear bit in to it. If I had to take a guess…”
“So how about your foster father?” Timothy yelled, doing everything he could to speak over Legno. “You haven’t yet spoken of him.”
“Um, I think he’s doing all right down there?”
After a heavy sigh, Timothy rephrased, “I meant, in general, how is he? What does he do?”
“Well, Saggies, as he prefers me to call him, is a teacher. But I don’t think he really likes it or anything. He seems depressed all the time. And he drinks a lot.”
“Oh, that’s…that’s very disheartening. Do you have any idea why?”
“Um…not really. I mean, I’m a ray of sunshine, so it’s not my fault. The only thing I can think of is that I sometimes hear him say the name ‘Maggie’ in his sleep followed by a whimper.”
“Ex-girlfriend I take it?”
“Beats me. I kind of always assumed it was some sort of liquor they don’t make anymore. Or like a pet turtle that he used to have.”
“So those are your best guesses: Discontinued alcohol or turtle?”
“Well, when you say it like that, it just makes me sound like an idiot.”
Timothy bit his tongue and decided it’d be proper to just let that comment slide.
The next few minutes were filled with a comfortable silence; Timothy quietly soaked in the scenery, the forest’s musk filling his senses and reminding him of a time gone by, while Legno’s thoughts were brimming with the life he and Marion were sure to have. It was a life of joy, of passion, of tenderness, and of endless ‘knock on wood’ jokes.
And of late nights sensually applying varnish.
And of even later nights filled with sanding down each other’s edges. Those rough, rough edges.
Life as a wooden boy…oh, it was definitely going to be sweet.
“We’re here, son. Look! You can see her cabin just over that hill!” Timothy exclaimed, snapping Legno back to reality.
With a few shakes of his head, his eyes, which seconds ago were blankly staring at the ground, widened and appeared to fill his entire face as his destination finally came in to view.
“Hey, you’re right!” Legno cheered as he made a dash towards the cabin, too excited to merely walk the last few meters.
As he drew nearer, the mundanity of the cabin’s exterior became apparent. Although unimpressed, Legno attempted to remain positive.
“You’d think such a powerful witch would have a fancier place,” Legno commented as he ran his fingers over the cabin’s oaken façade, which, though unassuming, was still well constructed. “But it’s pretty cool to see such professional craftsmanship. I guess my wood will be safe in her hands, huh?”
“Oh, dear,” Timothy muttered to himself while massaging his forehead in an attempt to circumvent the impending migraine Legno was sure to give him. “Be a good lad and give the door a few raps. I don’t know if the old girl is home or not.”
Legno, making his way to the door, did as Timothy requested and gave the door a hearty knock with his fist.
“Try again,” said Timothy.
Legno once again raised his fist to knock on the door and brought it down with the force of a hammer; he desperately wanted the old witch to be there and was hoping her reticence was due to her not hearing him the first time. The sound of flesh and bone against the wooden door was even louder this time.
Still no answer.
After letting out a heavy sigh of disappointment, Legno responded, “Of course. Of course she wouldn’t be home. Why would I expect to have any sort of luck with the way this day’s been going? Let’s head back. Maybe I can patch things up with Diana. ‘Diana, when I said your ass looked fat, what I meant was you have a great figure for popping out a whole mess of kids. Our kids.’ ”
Timothy snapped back, “Oh, stop complaining! A few bumps in the road and you’re ready to throw in the towel! It may not exactly be proper etiquette, but open the door and see if she’s in. It’s possible that she’s just asleep.”
“Let’s try,” Legno said quietly as he turned his hand and placed the bottom sides of his fingers underneath the hand-carved notch and gently opened it.
*Creeeeeeeeek* went the door as Legno slowly pushed it forward. As he leaned in, his head poked through and he uttered a simple, “Hello?”
For a third time, no answer.
“Walk inside,” Timothy replied. “Here or not, she wouldn’t mind my coming through unannounced.” He then turned his attention away from Legno and yelled, “Esther! Esther, dear, are you home? It’s Timothy, and I brought a friend who is quite intent on meeting you!”
“Look,” Legno said as he pointed to the table in the middle of the room. The cabin was fairly tiny, and it didn’t take the boy long to get a more than cursory examination of the place. “There’s a note on the table.”
“Well, it’s more than a bit rude to read someone’s personal letters, I’d say,” Timothy replied.
Walking towards the table, Legno countered with, “But it looks like it’s addressed to you.”
The note, which laid flat on the table, was filled with big, barely legible scribble, with
sprawled across the top.
“It appears you’re right, son. What does it say?”
“Yeesh,” went Legno as he squinted his eyes to try to make discernible the old woman’s scribble. He proceeded to read the note aloud:
“Germany?” Legno responded, confused. “Can we get there before tonight?”
“Legno,” Timothy sighed, “Germany is almost a thousand miles away with seas and mountains in between.”
“Okay, so, what’s she doing there? Why isn’t she here?” Legno asked, his tone almost turning in to a shout.
“Oh, she has the sweetest little place there. Children from all over…”
“So that’s it!” yelled a once again defeated Legno as he cut off Timothy, “This friend of yours decides to take a goddamned vacay and I’m shit out of luck!”
“Did I say that this was my only idea? Failing to plan is planning to fail, Legno.”
“So then what now?” Legno asked, as some placidity returned to his voice.
“Let me ask you, Legno, are you a student of chemistry?”
TO BE CONTINUED
Believe it or not, we’re just about at the halfway point of this tale. But without the witch Esther, what is poor Legno to do? What’s Timothy’s Plan B? Will there be any more thinly-veiled penis jokes? The answers to all these questions can be found next week for the conclusion of Act 2 of Wood You Be Mine?
And if you need a taste of what’s to come after that: Twists, turns, lost loves, new beginnings, but unfortunately, fewer nut shots (sorry, Alex). See you in a week!
Have you been wondering what Legno, the breakout star of Wood You Be Mine? looks like? Has it given you many sleepless nights? Have you consulted with friends, loved ones, and/or religious leaders? Well, your suffering is over! Thanks to friend/co-worker/roommate/sexually ambiguous Kevin Lafferty, a beautifully rendered portrait of Legno now exists. Feast your eyes:
So how’s he look? Better than you expected? Worse? You can be as critical as you want; Kevin has nothing even close to resembling feelings. And let me know on Facebook or Twitter what you’d like to see him draw next.