Chapter Sixteen – Parents Night Part II


‘So, let me get this straight’, Daddy began.

Boo’s daddy had raced from the school back to his house and was standing in the remains of the still smoking kitchen.

There were several rather large firemen staring at the cooker, which he noticed looked like it had exploded.

He also noticed that the window had been smashed out of the wall, not only had the glass all gone, but the entire window frame and the curtains too were all missing along with a rather significant looking section of the wall.

He looked at Boo, ‘What on earth happened in here ?’, he had his stern face on and his arms were folded so tightly that he was going red in the face and Boo wondered how he could breath.

Boo knew that it was useless to  even begin to explain about dragons, pepper, smoke alarms and undercooked chips, she realized that there was no way that this was going to work with Daddy, so she just shrugged and suggested that, ‘well, the oven was a bit complicated, maybe it was set wrong and it exploded a bit’.

Daddy blinked, again, Boo wondered if this blinking habit would stop before it became a nervous habit, ‘Boo, there is no ‘explode a bit’ setting on the oven’, he corrected himself, ‘there was no such setting on the oven as “explode”, or at least I am not sure, because it was actually bit complicated’. He squinted at the charred remains of the cooker controls to see if he could see an ‘explode’ setting.

‘Nevermind, hey?’ the fireman smiled, ‘The production on that single was amazing, recorded at Sound City in Van Nuys, California you know’’. The fireman was of course referring to Daddies Nirvana shirt, but he was as clueless as ever. ‘Did you know that Dave Grohl purchased the mixing desk when they shut the place down ?’.

‘Uhm, yes, the kitchen was insured obviously’ The fireman looked confused.

‘I’ve never seen a cooker explode quite like that Guvnor’. The burly fireman was also looking at the smoking remains of the cooker, ‘it might have been a gas leak, we had better get that shut off and get British Gas out to look at it’. he wandered off and started bellowing instructions to the other firemen.

‘Cut the gas off !’

Moments later the boiler whimpered and died. Given that there was still a very large hole in the wall, the kitchen was sudden extremely cold.

‘But Daddy, I’m hungry’, Boo was almost crying, her tummy was rumbling, she was rather cold and Daddy was upset with her.

‘Well, I’m sure that I have some Alphabet Spaghetti around here somewhere, we can microwave it and maybe make some toast. At that moment the lights went out in the kitchen too and the burly fireman wandered back in. ‘We had to switch the electric off too – the Police bomb-squad is on its way, they say that you need to evacuate the house while they check it over.

Ten minutes later, Daddy, his girlfriend and Boo were all standing outside on the driveway, they were freezing cold and in Boo’s case, rather hungry too. Daddy was miserable, his girlfriend was furious because she was missing her favourite soap on the TV and even the burly firefighter was ignoring her when she fluttered her eye lashes.

‘Daddy, I’m really, really hungry, can we go to the chip shop or something, please ?’

Daddy did not look very happy to leave the house, a few moments earlier a large number of Police cars and now a huge Police truck had arrived. The Policemen were trying to tell everyone to keep back and ‘move along, nothing to see here’. The large Police truck then parked in the middle of the front lawn, crushing the lavender bush and all but one of the daffodils.

As they watched several large policemen in heavy protective clothing bashed the front door down, then levered open the garage door, then, to add insult to injury smashed the front windows and jumped through the opening.

Half an hour later, after ransacking the  entire house, including ripping the curtains down, pulling all of the doors from the units in the kitchen, levering open the doors and the bonnet on daddies brand new Italian sports car and pulling up half of the carpets they decided that there might not be any bombs in the house.

Just to add insult to injury, the sniffer dogs had pee’d on the sofa and one of them had dug a hole in what was left of the front lawn, eaten all the the extra-low-fat cheese from the fridge and drunk all of the diet water. The low-fat, low-taste vanilla ice-cream was also melting rapidly and the policemen had obviously pulled the door off the freezer.

Boo was never more miserable. The electricity and gas were both still off, apparently her daddy needed to fill out some forms and make some calls before it was turned back on. Daddy and his girlfriend had lit some candles but poor Boo did not think it was terrible romantic or even very warm.

Her dragon popped his head through the hole in the wall where the kitchen window had been.

‘Hey Boo, I brought you some food’, he had  what looked suspiciously like a large bag of chips in his paws.

‘Dragon, thank you, where did you get these’. Boo ran up and hugged her dragon and took the bag of chips from him. ‘Thank you, thank you , thank you’.

‘Well I am friends with Harry at Harry’s Tasty Chip Emporium, ever since I suggested to him that he offer Mozzarella and Worcestershire Sauce as a house special, his business has been booming and he always gives me a couple of bags when I am hungry.’

Boo opened the bag and as expected, it was a bag of chips with grated mozzarella and Worcestershire sauce, she tasted a chip and was in heaven, the gooey cheese and the sharp sauce complimented each other perfectly. Within a few minutes the bag was empty, she had obviously shared the bag with her dragon, because that is the type of girl she it.

It is funny but a belly full of warm food and a warm dragon to cuddle up to makes the whole world seem like a better place. Eventually Daddy calmed down, he found an old battery powered TV too, so his girlfriend was able to watch her soaps. A man had come around and placed a big piece of wood in the hole where the window used to be so the house was not getting any colder.

‘Daddy’, Boo began tentatively, ‘are you happy with the report that my teachers gave you ?

‘Oh, that, I did not really hear much of it as my phone kept ringing and they seem to have confused you with someone else I think. They kept telling me that you are a model student and you write stories about dragons or something. You never told me about that’.

Boo sighed, ‘Daddy, I told you about my story and about how many people are reading it and how I got the prize for best short story’. She smiled, her daddy was smiling at her.

‘I never knew that you had written them’.

Boo grabbed her phone and navigated to the school web site finding her story quickly before handing the phone to her daddy.

As he read the story his eyes grew wider and wider, then welled up with tears as he reached the end, ‘Boo I am so proud of you, that is a lovely story’. He hugged her tightly, over her shoulder she spotted her dragon sneaking up the stairs to her room, she was going to be warm and comfortable tonight….