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SevEn cLoWn CirCus
Once there was a guy named Fred. Actually, his name was Fredwardo, but everyone just called him Fred. Or Freddy. Or Fredo. Or, sometimes, when he and his friends were playing video games, he was Fredzilla. But mostly, everyone called him Fred. Except his mom, who always called him Fredwardo, much to his annoyance. So, for this short story of Fredwardo, we will make him very happy and just call him Fred.
One day Fred was walking down the Main Street of his hometown, Redbury, Pennsylvania. Fred had lived in Redbury all 18 years of his life. Well, if you didn’t count the two weeks he lived in Aaronsburg; which is about two miles north of Redbury. It was only two weeks, he’d tell himself. It didn’t count. Actually, it did count; but that’s not what we’re talking about right now.
As Fred walked down Main St, he thought of how boring his life was. Nothing ever happened in Redbury. Nothing! Well, now Fred was wrong about that. In fact, a lot went on in Redbury, just very few knew about it. In fact, not even the mayor that right underneath his feet there was a secret spy agency run entirely by kids that the government occasionally hired. But Fred didn’t know about that. He never found out about it. So, as Fred walked down the street, wishing something, anything, would happen, a hole suddenly opened up in the sidewalk front of him, and he walked right into it.
“Hello. Welcome to the Boarding Center. Where is your destination?” said a cold, female voice.
“D-destination?” asked Fred, opening his eyes. He was in a large metal room with no windows. In front of him there was a desk and chair, and, set a few feet behind that, was a fence with a small gate, blocking off the rest of the room.
“Hello. Welcome to the Boarding Center. Where is your destination?” Fred jumped up. Where was that voice coming from? There was no one at the desk. He looked around, trying to find the source of the voice. Upon looking up, he saw the hole he had fallen down.
“Ouch,” he said rubbing his head. Fred had fallen a long way. “Wow, and II thought falling out of bed was a long way down!”
“Hello. Welcome to the Boarding Center. Where is your-”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” said Fred, adding in a mocking voice, “’Where is my destination,’ I get it!”
“Well, good,” said the voice. “Now, where is your stinkin’ destination?! I’m getting tired of repeating myself!”
Fred just stood there with his mouth hanging open. It talked back! Fred was shocked.
“Hello?” said the increasingly impatient voice.
“Y-you. . . . talked,” Fred finally managed to say.
“Y-yeah. But . . . you . . . you answered me!”
“And? What’s your point?”
“Well . . . . I-I just thought that you were some program designed to say the same thing until you were given a destination.”
“Well, sorry to break it to ya, bud, but I’m not. I’m a human being.”
“Oh. Well I didn’t know that. I just heard a voice. And the name’s Fred.”
“It’s nice to meet you Fred. I’m Mazy. Stay there; I’ll be right down.”
“It isn’t like I have anywhere to go,” grumbled Fred.
While he watched, a shimmery light appeared around the desk. There was a flash, and a pretty young woman with long brown hair and bright blue eyes appeared, sitting in the chair. This must be Mazy, thought Fred.
Mazy stood up, walked around the desk, and folded her arms across her chest.
“Well?” she asked.
“What?” said Fred caught off-guard. He had expected her to shake his hand or something.
“What do you mean, ‘what’?” Mazy demanded. “You should know what I want by now! Your destination! Gosh, are you an idiot or something?!”
“No!” he said. Then, “I don’t know. Where can you send me?”
“Yes! Anywhere!” yelled Mazy. How come I always get the dumb ones? she thought.
“Hmm. . . ” said Fred. “Anywhere, huh?”
“Yes,” Mazy replied.
“OK,” “ said Fred, deciding. “How about. . . . the moon?” She’ll never be able to send me there! I’ll have her stumped!
“The moon?” Mazy confirmed.
“Yup! The moon.”
What is this guy playing at? Mazy thought. What’s with the goofy smile? Hmm. . . Oh! He thinks I’m lying! Idiot. I’ll show him!
“Alright,” Mazy said, going back around the desk. She stopped on the other side, opened a drawer, and pulled out a small, hand held computer. “To the moon then. Now, remember: we are not responsible for anything that happens to you on the flight there or back.”
“WHAT?!” screamed Fred. She bluffing; right?
“I hope you enjoy your trip!” said Mazy smiling and waving. “Don’t forget to buckle you seatbelt!”
“Wha-” But that was all Fred got to say before a hole opened up in the floor, and swallowed him.
Five minutes later, Fred was on a spaceship to the moon. There were two other people on it with him. One was a man dipping taco chips in BBQ sauce, and the other was a crazy looking thirteen-year-old girl, who was bouncing up and down in her seat.
“Hi,” said the girl in a loud voice. Her big green eyes, and wavy brown ponytail made he look mad and wise at the same time.
“Hi,” said Fred.
“Don’t you just love space?” the girl continued. “I think it’s like a big black blanket, wrapping around everything.”
“Have you ever been to the center of the Earth?”
“No. No one has.”
“Sure you have.”
“No, really. I have! It’s so cool. That’s where all the dinosaurs went you know.”
“And, the mermaids live down there, too!” Her eyes got really big as she continued. “And the unicorns and elves have a peace treaty so they stop fighting. The dwarves have this huge city that floats on lava!! It’s so cool!!”
“Oh, it is.” She fell quite for a moment. “How did you end up here in space?”
“Fell down a hole.”
“Oh . . . I didn’t think you could get to the Boarding Center that way. I went through my cupboard.”
“Yup. My name’s Crystal,” said Crystal. “What’s yours?” The ponytail high on the back of her head flipped as she tilted it.
“Fred,” said Fred.
“Wull,” said the man sitting next to Fred, through a mouth full of chips. “ma name’s Bubba. An’ this here’s ma best batch o’ BBQ sauce.”
“You made that?” said Crystal.
“A-yup!” said Bubba proudly. “An’ I tell ya, little lady, it weren’t easy neither. But like ma daddy usta’ tell ma,” Bubba continued, holding up the BBQ sauce, “ain’t nuthin’ like some good ol’ BBQ sauce!”
“Wow,” breathed Crystal, who seemed to Fred easily amazed. “Can I try some?”
“Well, sure little lady,” he said, handing over a chip and the BBQ sauce. Crystal tried a bite.
“Yum!” she said after a moment. “It’s really good! Here,” she said, handing a chip and the sauce to Fred. “Try some! It’s great!”
“OK,” said Fred, who loved BBQ sauce and had tried many different kinds. Though, He was sure that Crystal was exaggerating a bit.
She wasn’t. “Wow!” he exclaimed after having a bite. “It is good!”
“You should make more and sell it!” said Crystal. “I could help you! I could keep track of all you orders and money! I’m really good a banking! It’d be so cool!”
“I’d love to, little lady,” said Bubba sadly. “But I don’t got that the money, or any way of advertisin’.”
“Oh . . .” said Crystal, looking down at her feet. After a minute she jumped up and said, “But that’s OK! It still tastes really good!”
“Thanks, little lady,” said Bubba, ruffling her hair.
“Attention. We are now removing artificial gravity. Feel free to float around the cabin.”
“Cool!” said Crystal, jumping off her seat and floating six feet off the floor. “Anti-gravity!”
Soon, they were all floating around the cabin.
“Yahoo!” Crystal was doing flips all over the place and seemed to be everywhere at once. “Wee! Woo hoo! Oh yeah! Anti-gravity rules! I don’t know when the last time I floated in space was!”
“You’ve been in space before?” asked Fred, surprised. She was only thirteen!
“Of course! Silly!”
Suddenly, there was a loud noise, followed by a horrid smell.
“Eeew!” squeaked Crystal. “OK, which one of you dorks farted?”
Fred opened his mouth to say it wasn’t him, but instead made a face as the horrible smell met his nose.
“Perfect!” exclaimed Bubba. He quickly pulled out his camera and took a picture of Fred’s face. “That is just the face I’ve been lookin’ for ter put on ma label!”
“W-What?” choked Fred.
“I wan’ed ter put a face like that on the label fer ma BBQ sauce. Now all I need is a little bit o’ money and I can start ma line! If it got goin’ I would hire ya both! You, Fred, could be on ma commercial. Ya’d make a lot o’ money doin’ that!”
Fred thought about this for a minute. He did need a job, and here was the perfect opportunity!
“How much do you need?” Fred asked.
“Oh, I’d say about two hundred dollars.”
“Hmmm . . . .” Fred had that much saved in the bank, he knew it! “I’ll give you two hundred, if you give me that job.”
“Would you really?!” asked Crystal.
“Yeah,” said Fred, shrugging. “I don’t have anything better to do.”
Bubba floated over and shook Fred’s hand. “Thank ya much!” Then, turning to Crystal he said, “An’ how would you like a job, little lady?”
“You mean it?!” said Crystal, exited.
“You betcha! I just need the OK from your parents an’ it’s done.”
“Oh . . . .” said Crystal, look down at her feet again; which were really up near the ceiling because she was upside-down. So, really, she was looking up at her feet.
“Well,” she said, “I’m an orphan. I don’t have any parents.”
“Is that so?” said Bubba. “Well, then, how would you like to become ma daughter?”
“Really?” asked Crystal, perking up, er, down? Lets just go with up.
“A-yup!” I always wanted a daughter.”
And so, when they got back to Earth, Bubba started his line of BBQ sauce, adopting Crystal and hiring Fred. With Crystal’s help, he sold BBQ sauce all around the world, making millions happy.
Crystal got a great dad, and grew up to start an orphanage, something she didn’t get to have for most of her life, a home. She gave shelter to many people and helped them find homes of their own. She often told stories of her adventure when she was young, and you always knew there would be BBQ sauce if you wanted it.
And Fred, after doing a wonderful job in his first commercial, became an actor, starring in many movies, and guest-starring on lots of shows. He now has his own sitcom, ‘Fredwardo’s Life in Space,’ and is doing great. He frequently visits his friends, Bubba and Crystal, and goes to the orphanage often, donating hundreds every time.