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Chapter 13: The Adventures of Frankie

Picture Day

“FLOYD, don’t forget it’s picture day!” Annette called as she rushed out the door. She never took the early shift because she so enjoyed seeing her husband off to work and getting the boys ready for school. But being that this was the height of flu season, she had to do what she had to do.

“COME ON FRANKIE!” his dad nudged him and pulled the covers from over his head. “Your breakfast is cold. Don’t make me come up here again!” Dad stomped down the stairs, he had hollered up from the kitchen several times already and even sent Frankie’s little brother to get him out of bed.

Frankie plopped into a chair behind a cold plate of scrambled eggs. Eyeing the four little triangles of toast smeared with grape jelly, he picked one up then slowly worked the entire thing into his mouth. His little brother laughed at the jelly oozing down his chin.

“You’re gonna miss the bus,” Dad picked up Frankie’s napkin to hand it to him. “Finish up,” he shook his head. “Don’t forget to brush your teeth.”

“FRANCIS EUGENE DWYER,” Dad’s voice seemed to vibrate every wall in the house, starting with the stairwell!

Frankie was really late! He spit the last of the toothpaste in the sink, then dug in his top drawer for a T- shirt. His first smile of the day, he slipped his favorite over his head, then turned to dash for the bus. Grandpa and Grandma gave him the treasured T-shirt for his birthday almost two years ago. He thought about replacing it when he and Paulette visited the space center, but it wasn’t the same. The new ones weren’t as soft. Sure the NASA logo with a rocket ship blasting off was faded, that didn’t matter.

Dad was waiting with the screen door open in one hand and brown paper lunch bag in the other. He slipped a foot over to prop it open, freeing a hand to wipe the excess toothpaste from Frankie’s lip. “Your brother’s already out there.” Frankie’s eyes finally popped open as he took all three of the front steps at once then darted across the yard. Dad scolded for all the neighbors to hear, “You better not miss that bus!”

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