Locked Down With a Guitar
Locked Down With a Guitar
The house was going crazy. My cousins and I were supposed to fly back home today, but Baltimore is now under lockdown because of some noble virus. What a name. Noble, the complete opposite of what it was. So we are locked down with Uncle Percy! We’re going to be here for at least a month because even if this virus clears up, we’re not allowed to board a plane, train, or bus for one whole month.
So anyway, Tamara and I had lost all interest in the board games we were playing. Pepper was trying to get the triplets to play tag in the garden. Suddenly, uncle popped up out of nowhere. “Look what I’ve found,” he exclaimed. “A cure to noble,” Pepper asked. “No, Maureen’s old guitar.” “Well, then I’m goin’ out to the garden,” Pepper said. “Oh, come on,” uncle wailed. “I spent an hour in that insect-infested attic. And when I found this piece of plywood with cords and a hole, a spider was building a web in the hole!” “What are you going to do with it,” I asked uncle. “Well, Maureen’s birthday is tomorrow,” Uncle began. “I think I could surprise her with her favorite song.” “What is her favorite song,” Pepper asked uncle. “I don’t know! I’m not a psychic.” “Then how do you plan to play her favorite song?” “That’s why I’m telling you. Can you please, please, please get Maureen to tell me her favorite song?” “Why can’t you do it yourselves?” “I’ve already asked her five times.” “Fine, but then you have to pay us.” “Five bucks, per person. No more, but it can be less.” “Five. Deal done.” Pepper ended the negotiation.
We decided the safest way to get aunt to tell us her favorite song was to play songs loudly. She’d eventually come and tell us her songs, then we’d tell uncle. We set up everything and turned the speaker on outside Aunt Maureen’s room. Soon enough, she came out and said to us, “Can you play ‘Complicated’ by Avril Lavigne? It’s my favorite. “You know what,” Tamara began, “you can play all the songs you want. We just remembered, my mom sent in our holiday homework.” And we ran off to tell uncle our work was done, and we wanted our payment, leaving behind a very, very confused Aunt Maureen.
After we told uncle the song and heard it out, uncle asked, “You expect me to play that in one day? I don’t know a single thing about playing the guitar.” “That’s your problem now,” Pepper said. I found a few courses on YouTube and helped uncle start up.
Two hours later, we went to check on uncle. When we saw what happened, we were, for the first time, scared of uncle. The guitar had three strings broken, one of the tuning pegs was broken and the headstock was scratched. “What do I do now,” uncle asked us. “We’ll tell you,” Pepper began, “for five more bucks each.” After uncle paid us, Pepper pushed me forward. “Rachel, tell uncle what to do.” “Um, I guess you could skip the song, gift wrap the guitar, and tell aunt how you found it.” “Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Only one problem: where do we get so much wrapping paper?” Pepper pulled out a roll of paper. “Here you go. And put the guitar in this box.”
We helped uncle wrap the guitar, and kept it out of his reach. Then we got the rest of the stuff ready. Pepper picked a few flowers from the garden and made a bouquet, I baked a cake, and Tamara helped the triplets finger paint a card for aunt. By 8:30, things were looking good. We went to help prepare dinner and keep aunt from opening the fridge.
After dinner, we sent aunt to her room and went to frost the cake. But our bad luck just never seems to let up. There was no cream cheese or flavoring in the house. “It’s ok,” I said. “We’ll just give her a cake without frosting.” I opened the fridge to get the cake out, and everything in there came out. When all the stuff fell out, we saw the cat, Rebecca, Millie, and the dog sitting in the fridge, eating the cake. We got all four out of the fridge and started searching for something to make for aunt. Well, me and Tamara. Pepper just sat around eating the rest of the cake. Suddenly, she said, “Let’s make donuts. The batter is always ready, we can melt some chocolate and coat the donuts with them, and aunts treat is ready.”
We got the stuff out and started working. After an hour we had a satisfactory result. We cleaned the kitchen and went to sleep.
The next morning, we surprised aunt with breakfast in bed. We gave her the gifts and called uncle. He gave her the guitar and began with his story. “It was a very bright sunny day, but I couldn’t enjoy it. I was in the dreaded country of Atticarctica. As I walked through the deadly forests…,” “Percy I get it you were in the attic. What happens next,” aunt snapped. “Have patience, Maureen. Let me complete my story. So, as I was saying, I met many species of deadly insects, but I kept going on, to find your gift. Now open it, and please, please, please don’t say you don’t like it.” Aunt opened it and saw the guitar. “Oh, that old thing. I had to get rid of it. It’s been sitting there for ages doing nothing.”
Uncle’s jaw dropped. All that effort for something aunt had to trash. Maybe he’ll do better next year.