SIGNATURES by Heather F.

"Little Britches" (ATF) Universe

Disclaimers: Not mine, no money made etc.

Warnings: English, Grammar, Spelling etc. Bad words….Any mistakes are mine.

Thanks: Mitzi she slugs through this stuff, Meg because she read an early version. WendyH because she’s still out there.

Acknowledgements: LB AU belongs to K. Poffenberg, Trolls are not mine either.

Follows Hey, Joe.

Hey Joe,

Chris was really mad tonight. Good thing I didn’t give him my spelling test to sign.

He yelled at Mr. Ezra….called him a dumbass, stupid idiot, with brain dead tendencies that weren’t fit for a corpse…..and a F*#!ing moron…..he said a lot more bad words but I can’t remember them all. He was mad though. He even told him that he would transfer his sorry dumb ass when the case was over. Send him back to that Hell hole in Atlanta if he thought it was fair to the Fibbees….

I wonder what Fibbees are?

I hid under my covers and wrote down all the words I could remember. I kinda wanted to sneak into the kitchen and see what was happening but didn’t, that ain’t right. It sounded like Chris hit someone…probably Mr. Ezra…cuz then Buck said something. He sounded kind of mad too, but different mad. Not like Chris. Fact, I think he might have said bad words to Chris….I ain’t sure but he mighta….Mr. Ezra said something and Chris got really, really mad and slammed something on the table. Then Buck said Mr. Ezra better go while the gettin’ was good.

Chris told’im never to set foot near’im again…not ‘til he got some brains to go with his smart mouth. Or he’d fill his ass full of buck shot.

Guess sometimes Mr. Ezra can be dumb too. Wonder what he did to get Chris so mad.

I best throw away my spelling test. I’s suppose to get Chris to sign it…maybe I’ll try copyin’ his signature like I seen Bobby Bunyan do on the bus. Bobby Bunyan is in sixth grade…he’s real big, and he gits in lots of trouble too. He gits in lots of trouble cuz he likes to pick on little kids. He ain’t picked on me and JD yet. Good thing too.

I better go, I hear Chris coming down the hall way.

Tuesday, pm

Hey Joe,

I didn’t hand in my spelling test, ain’t got it signed yet. Mrs. Gillingham says I have until the end of the week to hand it in or she’ll call here. I don’t want to show Chris my spelling test and now I got back my reading test and its just as bad. 50 out of 50 is good odds, Mr. Ezra says, but it ain’t too good when it comes to school. Mr. Josiah says not all wrong things are bad and not all right things are good….I think Mr. Josiah is kind of strange. Mr. Nathan says ya got to try yer hardest to do right…he says trying hard is a reward by itself…I don’t see it. I ain’t won nuthing yet at least.

Mr. Ezra’s been missing. There was blood on the kitchen table the morning after Chris yelled at him. I asked Buck about it but he said not to worry, Ezra’s real dumb sometimes and it makes Chris mad. JD asked if Mr. Ezra would never ever come back to visit…Buck laughed and scooped JD up, he said ‘Not to worry Ole Ez is like indigestion, he’ll be back.’ ‘Cept his laugh weren’t right and his eyes kept looking at the phone and his shoulders slumped a little like they do when he has a bad cards at poker.

I’m scared now. Chris has known Mr. Ezra longer ‘n me, they’ve been friends a lot longer than any of them have known JD and me. And Mr. Ezra is pretty smart.

Sometimes he says not so smart things and makes Chris angry but for the most part he’s the smartest person I know other than Chris and Buck and Mr. Josiah and Mr. Nathan. He’s smarter than me and JD…though JD’s pretty brainy for a kid. But if Chris kicked Ezra out of the house cuz he’s being a ‘dumb ass sumbitch’….what’s he gonna do when he sees my spelling and reading test? Mrs. Cook says I have to get my reading test signed too. I wonder if she and Mrs. Gillingham talk to each other? It don’t seem right. Mrs. Gillingham gave me another paper to get signed…penmanship is stupid.

Buck and Chris got nervous when JD kept asking questions about when Mr. Ezra was gonna come back. They stared at one another real quick like. Guess we weren’t suppose to hear what happened last night. They each had a real nervous look. I don’t think they think I noticed. JD don’t but I did. We were asking too many questions again. JD was too busy trying to pile is Cheerios into a tower to notice much. Diablo laid down at his feet and thumped his tail every time the pile got knocked over. Diablo must get thirsty eating all those Cheerios without milk.

JD kept on asking questions.

He asked, ‘What’s a ‘ F*#!ing moron’…I was kind of glad cuz I wanted to know too. Guess JD weren’t sleeping neither…..

Buck said it means, "Chris better use his ‘inside’ voice more often." I don’t think that’s what it means. I’ll ask Mrs. Gillingham at school. She’s real strict but she says we can ask her most anything.


Hey Joe,

I got to have Chris sign another note for Mrs. Gillingham…about what a ‘ F*#!ing Moron’ is…JD cried when I showed him. I have four notes that needed signing.

He’s afraid Mr. Chris is going to throw me out of the house like he did Mr. Ezra the other night. Part of me don’t think its true, Chris ain’t like that. He says he loves me…He ain’t lying when he says it either. But what if it is true? What if?…He really is gonna toss me out on my dumb ass. He liked Ezra too and Ezra ain’t allowed back.

Chris don’t lie, not to me, not to anyone. Sometimes I wish he would, maybe not lie but, jist sometimes…I ain’t sure but something. I don’t want to live no where else…I want to stay here with JD and Chris and Buck and the others…but sometimes ya got to do what’s right for others. Me being here might be hurtin’ Chris and Buck and JD. Maybe Chris and Buck argue like they did when Mr. Ezra acted all stupid like. What if they fight because of me? That ain’t fair. ‘Specially to JD. He’s the most important.

JD cried really, really hard on the bus. Bobby Bunyan laughed at him and shoved JD into the window. I slapped Bunyan off the head with my Hong Kong Phooey Lunch box. It was a gift from Mr. Nathan, he said it was his lunch box as a kid. Its real old but I like it…kind of….. Bunyan’s stupid hard head dented it, though. Mr. Olson the bus driver pulled the bus over and yelled at me and Bunyan. Least I don’t have another note to get signed.

Ya don’t pick on JD, never.

JD cried even harder when Mr. Olson pulled the bus over but he didn’t get yelled at by Mr. Olson. Me and JD had to sit right behind Mr. Olson for the rest of the bus ride so JD wouldn’t git picked on again. JD’s real small and his feelin’s git hurt real easy. I protect’im the best I can, bin doin’ that since he and me lived together, since we were just little…. long time ago. I wonder if Mr. Josiah can help my fix my lunch box. Sure don’t want Mr. Nathan to think I don’t take care of it.

Chris and Buck got home really, really late. They were worried about stuff, probably work. I didn’t show Chris my notes I had to get signed or my tests. I hid my lunch box under my bed. Diablo is trying to get under my bed but his big butt is in the air and he’s wagging his tail. Diablo is kind of like JD sometimes.

Chris seemed angry when they got home. He was on the phone most of the night, talking to other people. I heard him yell at Mr. Kelly. He works in the same building as Chris and Buck. Buck says Mr. Kelly and his team do an ok job but still need to learn some stuff before they get any good. Mr. Kelly says Buck is full of hot air. That ain’t normally true unless he eats Josiah’s chili. Chris said more bad words. Guess Mr. Kelly is ‘spose to keep an eye on Mr. Ezra at work. I think Mr. Ezra might be lost somewhere, maybe he runn’d away. I kinda want to run away.

Chris got mad and slammed the phone down and kicked a cabinet in the kitchen. I wanted to get some milk but I ain’t that thirsty. Chris would never ever hurt me, not ever but when he’s mad he’s kind of scary. I wouldn’t ever want to be a bad guy.

Buck played with JD in the TV room. He let us watch Cartoons, and helped me do my home work. Buck says library skills is a dumb class…he don’t get it either, he says if he can’t find a book, then he just asks the Librarian, that’s what they are there for, but he can’t remember the last time he’d been to the library, he says he cons Mr. Ezra to go for him. Sides that’s what computers are for…Like Yahoo? And Google(?) I don’t know what he’s talking about. Sometimes Buck is as confusing as Mr. Josiah but in a more normal way if that makes sense.

I asked him if Chris still didn’t want Mr. Ezra to ever come to our house again.

Buck said Ezra did something really dumb and could have gotten hurt really bad. Buck said sometimes Ezra don’t think real smart and it gets him in a world of hurt. That makes Chris made. He says when Chris gets really worried he gets kind of mad sometimes.

Buck looked real worried when he spoke….he played with the remote but kept looking out at the window like he could see the driveway, but he couldn’t cuz his reflection was in the way. I wonder if he was hoping to see Mr. Ezra?

I asked him if Mr. Ezra runn’d away. Buck shook his head real slow like, almost like he were talking to himself and not me. Then he looked over at me and said, ‘Ezra’s working with bad guys and he jist can’t come to visit ‘n help me with my homework.’

The phone ran again and a few minutes later Chris came out and made us go to bed. He didn’t tuck me in again, Buck did. I wonder if Mrs. Gillingham or Mrs. Cook called him or if Mr. Olson called him…..

I don’t think so though, cuz if they did, then Chris would know I was dumber than Mr. Ezra and maybe make me leave too. Mr. Sedgewick, at the Home, said nobody wants kids who are slow witted. Ain’t sure what slow witted is, but I kept getting sent back. Mr. Sedgewick said it was cuz I was lazy and slow. I got tired of it and runn’d away. That’s how I met JD, long, long time ago. We was just small then.

I don’t want to go live somewhere else. I like it here.

JD cried in his pillow. I went and laid down with him in his bed. He said he would leave too if Chris and Buck didn’t want me anymore. He said he would stick with me.

It made me almost cry too…but I’ve got to be tougher than that…I told JD not to worry, he wouldn’t have to go anywhere.


Hey Joe,

Its cold out. I didn’t think it would be this dark. Sometimes I really am dumb. I left all my toys for JD and my pictures. I hope he don’t forget who I am. I’ll still watch out for him and stuff, like when he waits for the bus and goes to school.

I hate the rain, its messing up my pages. Least I got you to talk too.

I runn’d away last night. When JD fell asleep, I sneaked out the window and headed for the "Sunset Cliffs" no one will find me here. Tomorrow I’ll head down to the city. I don’t want Chris getting mad at me and making me leave, cuz if he does then JD would go with me and that’s not right. JD’s my bestest friend in the world but he needs Buck more than he needs me….it makes my stomach twist all up, like a belly full of knotted snakes is squirming about down there….but its what’s best for JD.

Sometimes I’m not so dumb but most times I am…and Chris deserves better. JD sure does.

I hid all day, I heard them calling for me this morning in the rain, but I stayed hid. I covered all my tracks. No one’s gonna find me not out here. I like the trees and the forest, it all makes sense to me. Ain’t no walls, no roofs and no one telling me what to do, where to sit or take stupid tests. No one tellin’ me to get notes signed. No one to pick on me either.

I stayed hid all day long. I got kind of hungry, but after awhile the hunger goes away so it don’t matter none. Besides tomorrow I’ll head back toward the city and find some food…ain’t no big deal. Kind of wished JD came with me…he always has food in his pockets. But if he came, then Diablo would have come for sure…Diablo’s always following JD.

Its still raining out. The voices have disappeared. A couple of times I wanted to step out of the thicket but I didn’t do it. I still have the stupid tests and notes with me. Chris would be so sad to know that his helping me weren’t doin’ no good.

And with Mr. Ezra not allowed back near the house or us, there ain’t no way I’ll git to learn any more tricks for spellin’ and readin’. His tricks work real well. I went from gittin tens and twenties to gittin’ fifties….not bad huh.

Gotta go I hear something in the dark.


Hey Joe,

Its me again. Mr. Ezra is here. That’s who I heard. He tripped and fell in the mud. He said some of the same words Chris said the other night in the kitchen. He found me in the thickets when he fell through them and on to me….He weighs a ton.

I asked him if he runn’d away too. He said no. He said he heard I was missing and came to help look for me. He said he was kind of disappointed I runn’d away. But glad he found me. He had a candy bar in his pocket. I got to eat it.

I asked him if he was still living with bad guys. He said yes. I asked him if he liked living with bad guys, and he said No….but it came out too fast. I think sometimes when Chris yells at him and stuff Mr. Ezra likes living with bad guys.

He gave me his coat. Can’t believe I forgot my own coat. I asked him if he was cold. He said No. He lied….his teeth chattered. I told him so.

He said it was not polite to call someone a liar. I told him it was not polite to lie to someone. He said Touche. Whatever.

He told me I had to go home. I said No, I liked living in the woods.

He asked "What about JD?"

What about JD?

He said "Who would watch out for JD?"

I said, ‘Buck’.

He said I was being selfish.

I said, ‘He’s being dumb and that Chris was right, he is dumb sometimes’. I think it hurt his feelings but I don’t care….well I do but I’m tired of caring.

He said that’s ok. I asked if it hurt that Chris hit him…he laughed and said yes…but he thinks it hurt Chris more than him. I think Mr. Ezra’s got water on his brain.

I asked him why Chris was mad at Mr. Kelly…and he said he did not know why. I think he’s telling the truth. Its hard to tell in the dark.

He wanted to know why I ran away. I wanted to know how he found me, since Buck says he can’t find his butt with both hands in the dark and in the woods.

Mr. Ezra says Buck is quite descriptive….Mr. Ezra spelled it for me.

I told him about my tests, and the notes. I showed him all my notes that needed signed by tomorrow. He let out a low whistle. There was a lot of notes. He said he didn’t even think the President signed that many things in a day…and that Mr. Larabee might get a hand cramp. He kind of laughed too.

I asked him if he could sign Chris’s name. Mr. Ezra laughed and said Yes he could, he had done that a time a two himself, but he would not do it for me….because he was my friend.

I don’t get Mr. Ezra at all.

He told me runnin’ away ain’t the answer….well, he said, ‘it Isn’t the answer and won’t solve a thing.’ I told him it would keep Chris from making me leave cuz I’m dumb. And iffen I leave cuz Chris makes me, then JD would leave too…and that ain’t right. So I might be dumb in spelling and in reading but I weren’t no idiot when it came to takin’ care of JD….least ways I ain’t no F*#!ing Moron’, like him….Mr. Ezra, him.

Mr. Ezra just raised his eye brow. I guess it ain’t polite to call people F*#!ing morons either. I told him that was what the bottom note was about. Told him Mrs. Gillingham damn near had a heart attack when I asked her what it meant.

I think Mr. Ezra nearly had a heart attack too. Can’t figure grown-ups.

He said not to repeat any words I hear Chris or Buck utter when they are mad, because when they are mad, they are uncouth barbarians with the IQ’s of gnats and apparently the vocabulary of drunken sailors.

I got real mad and asked him if he just called Chris a moron?

He smiled and nodded his head.

I kicked him right in the shins. Wiped the smile right off his face. No one makes fun of Chris. No one. Ezra grabbed his shin and asked for a truce.

I said ok…then I told him I really didn’t think he was a moron…I told him I thought he was almost as smart as Chris and Buck and Josiah and Nathan….and then I told him I wish he could come home with me.

He kind of smiled and dropped his head a little like when he’s pleased he did something really sneaky. Mr. Ezra can be like that, sneaky, I mean.

He said we should head back to the ranch cuz Chris and Buck and Messrs Nathan and Josiah were all looking for me…they even called in the Search and Rescue people and police. Ezra said he heard it on the radio…the bad guys have a police radio.

I’m in big trouble.

Mr. Ezra said not as big as trouble as him. I don’t feel any better.

I told him he couldn’t come all the way back to the house cuz he weren’t allowed to set foot on the ranch or Chris would ‘shoot his sorry ass full of holes’.

Mr. Ezra said I should not listen to other people’s conversations. I said Chris should use his inside voice when inside.

Mr. Ezra agreed.

We walked back through the night and the rain. Mr. Ezra kept going the wrong way. I had to keep telling him which way to go. It got real cold when the wind picked up. I’m glad Mr. Ezra let me wear his coat.

When we reached the barn yard, Mr. Ezra stopped walking. He told me to go to the house, he would watch from the woods to make sure I made it…then he would go.

I asked him if he was going to go back to live with the bad guys?

He said yes, for a few more days….

I asked him if I would ever get to see him again?

He got kind of quiet, and then smiled. It was his ‘not so real’ smile, it’s the smile grown-ups use when they don’t know the truth but think they should. He promised we would see each other again somewhere.

I asked him if Chris would really transfer him to Hell.

Mr. Ezra laughed again, but it was kind of sad, he said he had already worked there, but maybe it was time he went back.

I don’t get it. I gave him a hug and told him I would watch for him. He told me not to worry and to have Chris sign my notes. He said he didn’t think Chris would never ever get rid of me. He didn’t promise though…and I was glad. When grown-ups make promises…that means they’re lying. Mr. Ezra never makes promises to me or JD, not for stuff like this. Promises don’t mean squat.

I ran across the yard….and stomped a few puddles. Stomping in puddles is fun. I saw some earth worms in the puddles. The barn spot light is really strong. I wanted to pick them up but Mr. Ezra whistled at me and told me to git in the house. I did.

I rang the door bell at the kitchen side door. I stood on the stoop and waited. The door finally opened and it was Chris.

He just scooped me up and held me real hard. He squooshed me really, really hard and just stood real still. I cried, that was dumb.

He held me so tight I almost couldn’t breathe. I just shut my eyes and squeezed him back. I ain’t ever gonna run away again. No way…..

I heard JD scream and he latched onto Chris’s leg. But Chris didn’t let go of me…he just held me even tighter.

Buck mussed up my hair. Nathan got on the phone and started calling people…Can’t figure who.

Josiah asked where I was….I told him. He asked me why I came back. Chris just held me even tighter. I told him cuz Mr. Ezra told me too.

Everyone stopped. Chris pulled me back a little and asked when did I see Ezra? I said just a few seconds ago…but not to worry he didn’t set one foot near the house. I told Chris that me and Ezra were at the Sunset Cliffs….that he said I should go home.

I told them how he walked me to the edge of the woods and then watched me walk across the yard…cuz he ain’t allowed to be near any of us til he got some brains.

Josiah pushed the kitchen door open and held it against the wind and the rain. He yelled really, really loud, "EZZZZRRRAAA!" He even walked outside without his coat on and yelled again. His voice is the loudest, like thunder that’s banging right over the roof.

I told Chris Mr. Ezra weren’t gonna come, he’s probably already gone to go back to live with the bad guys for a few more days….I told Chris that Mr. Ezra said once that he was done with that then you could transfer him to Hell….he’d been there before.

Chris swore again, ‘F*#!ing Moron’.

I said it weren’t polite to call people ‘F*#!ing morons’.

Josiah came back into the house…he was soaking wet after being out in the rain for a few minutes…said Ezra weren’t out there.

No joke….sometimes grown-ups don’t listen.

Chris told Nathan to try his cell phone. Nathan dialed the number and the coat I was wearing started ringing….I guess Mr. Ezra forgot his phone.

Buck and the others looked real sad.

Chris just hugged me tighter and kept whispering ‘Thankyou’ over and over again. Wonder what for?

Nathan had asked me if Ezra looked ok. I said it was dark I couldn’t see him real good, but he sounded kind of sad. Like he wanted to be some place safe for a while. I ain’t sure Nathan and the others got what I was saying. Its hard to explain the feeling to grown ups sometimes, but you can hear it in their words when they speak, sometimes everyone needs a safe place to go.

Josiah wanted to know why he didn’t come into the house…I told’im cuz it ain’t right to go to someone’s home you ain’t wanted in…that’s a real simple rule…Even JD understood that real well. Mr. Ezra does too. I asked why did Bad Guys want Mr. Ezra livin’ with them…and why did he want to go back there instead of his own home?

No one said anything but it ain’t cuz they didn’t know the answer. Grown-ups ain’t as good at hidin’ stuff as they to like to think they are.

Chris asked why I runn’d away. I pulled all my notes and tests out of my pockets. They were kind of crinkled and soggy cuz I been walking around with them for a week in my pockets and then they got rained on and stuff.

I told him I asked Mr. Ezra to sign my notes. Then, I told him that Mr. Ezra said ‘No’. Nathan kind of laughed and said that’s funny considering he’s really good at it….Chris kind of glared at the others.

Chris said I had to take a bath. I didn’t give’im no lip. JD and me took a bath together.

Nathan and Josiah left, before JD and me got out of our bath. Chris had looked over my notes and tests while JD and me got washed up and ready for bed.

He never said anything when he tucked me in. Didn’t say anything at all. He just sat on the side of my bed and stared at me holding my hand like he was afraid I would disappear. I almost think he looked scared.

But Chris ain’t a scared of nuthin’.


Hey Joe

I’m tired. Its still wicked early in the morning. JD slept in my bed last night. I think he was afraid I would leave without him again. I told him I wouldn’t ever do it again….leave him I mean. JD cried real hard. Diablo howled. Buck let me take care of him. Buck had given me a hug last night and he looked like he was gonna either be real mad or real sad or happy. His face was all mixed up. I think he wanted to spank me and keep me close all at the same time. He settled for messing up my hair and then he left us to go to sleep.

I got out of bed real careful like so not to wake up JD. I tiptoed into the kitchen to get something to eat.

Chris was already up. He had all my notes and tests.

I kind of froze, got stuck, couldn’t move. He just stared at the papers and then at me. I wanted to run away again. Mr. Ezra really might be a F*#!ing Moron…. I wish I didn’t ever listened to him.

Chris put the papers down and pointed at me to come over to him. I did but I didn’t want too….well I kind of did, a big part of me wanted to run to him and a little part of me wanted to run for the door. I didn’t want Chris making me leave like he did Mr. Ezra for being so dumb. I didn’t want to have to leave at all. But I keep tellin’ myself Chris ain’t like that…but what if I’m wrong?

He picked me up and set me on his lap. He held up the first spelling test. And that’s when I started crying again. I remember hugging Chris, I hid my face in his shirt and cried, I don’t even remember him hugging me back, but he was….rocking me like Mamma used to do, and saying’, "Shhhhsshhhh its alright….shhhsshhh its alright…" but it weren’t alright….no way. It weren’t alright. I was dumb. Dumber than a box of rocks….I tried to tell Chris that but I kept getting my breathing all caught up.

He just rocked me back and forth in the chair and rubbed my back. I told him I didn’t want to get sent away….I didn’t mean to do so bad in school…I didn’t want him to be mad at me like he was at Mr. Ezra cuz we’re both ‘dumber than slugs in salt.

I think Chris might have laughed a little, but I ain’t sure…I kept on crying. Chris didn’t let go, though. He just held on and didn’t say anymore until I stopped bawling like JD with a bee stung hand.

Finally, when I got done, he told me he would sign my tests…and we would just have to work harder. He paused at Mrs. Gillingham’s second or third note, the one about the F*#!ing Moron’ and said that if I ever had a question like that I should ask Buck or one of the others…and not his teachers….

Chris weren’t mad at all.

After a bit, I asked if that meant he weren’t mad at Mr. Ezra either.

Chris said he weren’t ever really mad at Ezra just real scared that night, real scared, almost as scared as he had been when I runn’d away…almost. He said my runnin’ away was the most hurt he felt in a long time.

I said I was sorry and cried again. I wish the dumb tears would just turn off.

I asked if he would tell Mr. Ezra that he weren’t really mad, cuz it sure does make a person feel better when they know Chris ain’t mad at them.

Chris said he wanted to tell’im but they couldn’t find’im….he’s been livin’ with the bad guys for too long….but when they could find him again, he would tell’im.

I told Chris he should tell’im right away…cuz Mr. Ezra is afraid he’s gonna get sent back to the Home….

Chris asked me what the Home was….I told him…It was Hell….that’s where they send ya when ya git thrown out of your home or when someone dies or if you do real dumb things…they send ya to The Home.

Chris hugged me real hard and said Ezra ain’t going to no Home. That’s good cuz I don’t think he’d fit on the cots.


Hey Joe

Mrs. Potter is takin’ care of me and JD today….Chris and Buck had to go to work. Buck says the bad guys got no respect for weekends…He said they were gonna meet with Mr. Kelly and his team. They were gonna find Mr. Ezra and bring’im home and arrest all the bad guys. Buck don’t like workin’ on Saturdays. He says Saturdays are for games and dates. Josiah and Nathan don’t like workin’ neither but I bet they wanted to go today. Chris did, he was all quiet like today, was on the phone even before I got out of bed. That’s pretty early. Chris told us he and the others had to work and he was sorry for leavin’ us alone again.

Me n’ JD don’t really mind, its raining out still and we ain’t allowed to go outside. I ain’t feelin’ too good anyhows. I hurt all over, even my toes. Mrs. Potter tried makin’ me take medicine but I barfed it back up. JD cried. Diablo howled. He howls when JD cries sometimes. Its kind of funny. It weren’t funny today though, they made too much noise. I almost cried too. Medicine and boogers dripped out my nose. My eyes leaked water but I didn’t cry. No sir.

Mrs. Potter looked tired. I wanted Chris…I told Mrs. Potter too. She said she wanted Chris to come home too. She said maybe they would find Mr. Ezra and he would come home with Chris and Buck.


I got to lay on the couch all day. My ears hurt, especially when I swallow and cough. JD watched cartoons and played with his computer. I didn’t want to play. I was tired. I wanted to go to bed. He kept wantin’ to play with me, I pushed him down. He cried again and Diablo howled even louder. Mrs. Potter put me in my own bed. I felled asleep. My legs hurt too and it was cold out even with my blankets…and my blankets were too heavy and then too hot….and they made my arms hurt. I almost cried.

Chris came home at night. I know cuz he came in and kissed me good night and woke me up. I told him I don’t feel so good. He said he knew. I could hear JD in the other room playing with Buck. JD normally gits ouchy and sick not me…Its unfair I don’t feel too good. I told Chris I thought it weren’t fair either. He made me take medicine. I barfed it back up. It hurt my throat and my ears…I cried. Chris hugged me but I was too tired to hug him back. My skin hurts too. It hurt when Chris hugged me but I liked it better than if he didn’t hold me….

Mr. Nathan came in, he said I’s a better patient than Mr. Ezra. He said Mr. Ezra barfed up his medicine too. ‘Cept Nathan don’t use words like barf, he said ‘vomited’. Wonder where Mr. Ezra is? I didn’t think on it long though, my brain hurted.


Hey Joe,

My nose is stuffed up. I can’t breathe real good either. JD is still sleepin’. I ain’t hungry. My mouth hurts. My teeth feel funny, like they got fuzz on’em.

Its later and Chris had to wake me up. He made me take medicine again. This time he mixed it with somethin’ else so it didn’t taste so yucky. I didn’t barf it up. That’s good cuz it makes my ears and neck hurt when I barf. JD musta got up cuz he weren’t in his bed this time.

Chris told me to go back to sleep. I said I weren’t tired. He said I was. My back hurts too. My nose hurts from wiping it. Chris told me not to wipe my nose on my pajama sleeves. He gave me a napkin. It hurt my nose. I wiped it on my pillow case.

Chris made me git out of bed so he could change the sheets.

I went into the living room. It was really far to walk today. My legs hurt. I was gonna lay on the couch but Mr. Ezra was already on it. He looked like he was sleeping. I climbed up on the couch and lay on top of him. He groaned. My nose was leakin’ again. Chris said not to wipe it on my sleeve so I wiped it on Mr. Ezra’s shoulder.

He said, "Good Lord," except his voice was all scratchy and hurt sounding. Guess he ain’t sleepin’. What am I suppose to do if I can’t use my sleeve?…Towels hurt my nose. I was gonna ask but throat felt all needly like.

Buck came out and lifted me off Mr. Ezra. Buck laughed. He said Mr. Ezra is pathetic when he’s sick. I asked Buck if Chris shot his ass full of buckshot. My voice hurts when I talk.

Buck laughed and said No. Chris didn’t have too. Ez got a cold instead. He had to come live with us for a couple of days cuz his home has septic problems. Mr. Josiah laughed, he said the septic got backed up cuz Chris made it back up….Josiah said Chris wants Mr. Ezra in his sight all the time now. Buck said he was waitin’ for the fireworks. I hope I feel better before we have fireworks.

JD wanted to know what Septic problems were. Me too but I was too tired to ask. Buck says that’s when your bathroom throws up right back at you.

That’s gross. JD asked if there was any floaties. Mr. Ezra groaned and rolled over on the couch. He coughed and moaned even louder. I think I know what Pathetic means.

JD got Mr. Ezra some water. He asked JD if it was cold. JD went to take a sip out of it to taste it but sneezed in it instead. Mr. Ezra said he didn’t want any water. His voice sounds like it hurts too. Mr. Ezra rolled back over on the couch. He sniffles a lot almost more than me. I wonder what he wipes his nose on?

Chris came in and made me go back into my room. He made Mr. Ezra go back to his room. Actually he told him to ‘drag his pathetic butt off the couch into bed.

Chris just carried me to mine. I was too tired to walk.


Hey Joe,

Mr. Ezra’s coughing woke me up. He coughs real loud. I could hear Chris trying to get him to take more medicine. Mr. Ezra said No. You don’t ever say No to Chris. That’s not really smart. Chris said he’d tube his dumb ass like a horse if he had too.

Buck laughed and told them to be quiet we was all sleepin’.

JD yelled real loud from our room and said we weren’t cuz Mr. Ezra’s makin’ so much noise. Diablo yawned almost as loud and crawled on his belly up to JD’s pillow. JD shares his bed with Diablo sometimes. Chris don’t like it much. Diablo does though. So don’t JD, he don’t git as many nightmares when Diablo sleeps with him.

It got quiet real quick down the hall. Mr. Ezra musta took his medicine cuz Chris didn’t go to the barn to get the tubing stuff. I think that would hurt.

Chris then came in and gave me medicine too. It was different than Mr. Ezra’s. Mine was grape flavored and not green. I don’t like it. I told Chris I was feelin’ better.

He said good then I could go to school. I said I needed my medicine cuz I was sick.

Mr. Josiah came today to take care of me and Mr. Ezra. JD had to go to school all by hisself. He cried because he thought Bunyan was gonna pick on him. I gave him my Hong Kong Phooey Lunch Box. It still had a dent. Ended up he didn’t need it. Chris drove’im to school.

I got real nervous. What if Chris talks to my teachers? What if I git in trouble again?

I wanted to go hide.

Stayin’ home with Mr. Josiah was kinda fun. Me and him made all sorts of fun stuff with play dough. We even baked them in the oven. Mr. Ezra just slept. He woke up only a little. I weren’t allowed near him if he were sleepin’ and especially if he were havin’ bad dreams. Sometimes his eyes were open but he weren’t lookin’ at me or Josiah. Diablo slept with him on the couch sometimes. He licked Mr. Ezra’s runny nose.

That’s kind of gross. Mr. Josiah took a picture.

Josiah says sometimes dreams don’t shut off when they’re suppose too. That’s kind of scary but I know’d what he was talkin’ about. Sometimes I wake up and still think I’m where the trolls live. I don’t like that too much.

I took a long nap in the afternoon. I asked Mr. Josiah if Chris was gonna talk to my teachers.

Josiah said he weren’t sure, but it weren’t nothin’ to fret over.

I can’t figure how he thinks that….

JD came home from school early with Buck. I was real scared cuz maybe Chris would be with them and be mad cuz of my teachers.

Chris came home later and he weren’t mad. He said he talked to my teachers. He said if Mr. Ezra says yes…then Mr. Ezra can help teach me my words. That’s really good. Maybe I won’t get bad grades all the time.

I went to go ask Mr. Ezra but he went back to his room. I could hear’im coughing. Chris brought home more medicine for me and Mr. Ezra. Mr. Ezra’s was still green. Mr. Nathan said that’s what the Doctor said he should take. I get to take a new pink medicine…it takes like bubble gum. Nathan said I didn’t have to take the purple, grape medicine any more since it makes me Yak. That’s my new word. Yak…its like throw-up but better cuz that’s kinda what it sounds like. Mr. Ezra says a Yak is an animal. I think Mr. Ezra is just being ornery cuz he’s kind of sick and he still has to take that icky green medicine.

Mr. Ezra don’t like green medicine. I think Buck might have to get the tubing hose out.

I don’t know why Mr. Ezra jist don’t take ‘is medicine all quiet like. Chris threatened to shoot ‘his sorry ass’ again. I think maybe that’s jist how Chris talks to Mr. Ezra. Maybe it don’t mean nuthin’.

Chris don’t talk that way to Nathan or Josiah but then they don’t talk as quick as Mr. Ezra does…and they do what they are suppose too. Chris don’t talk to me that way either…and he sure don’t talk that way to JD. He sure don’t talk that way to Buck. I think Buck knows Chris the longest and he knows when Chris’s words mean stuff and when they don’t. Josiah had said that the bad words Chris said to Mr. Ezra when he was in trouble were suppose to keep Mr. Ezra safe. I don’t get it.

Chris used to say mad stuff to Diablo but Diablo just wags his tail every time ya look at him. I think he likes it when Chris yells at him and stuff cuz he just wags his tail even faster. Maybe Mr. Ezra is like Diablo. He just smiles instead of waggin’ his tail.

I’ll ask’im tomorrow. My nose is still running. Chris’s Tee shirt is real soft on the inside. Mr. Ezra says soft places are the best places to wipe yer nose. He said Chris wouldn’t mind if I used a Tee-shirt, especially if it were a soft one and not too dirty. I think he might be right. It don’t hurt my nose near so much. I’ll put it back so Chris don’t get mad.

I’s goin’ to bed, my eyes hurt too. I hope Chris comes to tuck me in, maybe he’ll forget my medicine too. Most likely not. I’ll be better than Mr. Ezra, I won’t complain like a girl. Even though it makes Buck laugh when Mr. Ezra does it.

I’m tired and my back still aches some. I wish I could jist hurry up and git better. Bein’ sick ain’t no fun at all.

‘night Joe.

The end

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