Sunday, 27 July 2008
06:17:22 PM (GMT)
Chapter Three~Encounter With a Mad Man
Mac awoke the next morning at 4:58 a.m. It was a bit early, her internal clock
told her, but she didn't mind at all. It was far better than the dream she'd been
having. It was horrible. Ashley 'did it' with David Archuleta, and because of it
they were bound together by an unbreakable silver chain. Soon they were on the
American Idol stage, which was about to be blown up up by terrorists dresed in orange
prison suits. Before they knew it, a huge version of Ashley's friend Mary-Catherine,
who was sporting a hijab, abeia and an evil grin, appeared above them. She began
dumping huge, immeasurable amounts of bacon and mayonnaise on them, then proceeded to
pick them up and spread them on toast, all at the orders of a pint-sized General
Mac shook her head to get rid of the vision. She wandered down the hall into
Lindsay's room first. Sure enough, Mac would have thought she was dead if it wasn't
for the rising and falling of her chest. In Ashley's room, though, she got a
surprise. Ashley was not sleeping. She wasn't even laying in bed reading. She was
already up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed and ready to face the day. She sat
at her desk, drawing some pictures in her sketchbook.
"Good morning, lazy bum!" Mac said quietly and sarcastically.
"You too, jobless dirty hobo!" Ashley said with a laugh.
Mac looked completely befuzzled. "What?" she asked incredulously.
Ashley starred at her. "You know, it's a good thing you're not slow with the
humour. You called me a lazy bum, so I called you a jobless dirty hobo!" The look
on her face was priceless.
"Oh, that was nice," Mac retorted. And by the way, not ALL hobos are dirty."
"Okay, okay. Just don't be so discriminatory," said Mac. "Now, since you're
already up and dressed, I want you to think about packing. Just take out the stuff
you think you'll need and fold it nicely on your bed, nicely being the
" 'Kay," Ashley said, giving her mom a hug. "Love you!"
Ashley gazed at her drawers and closet. Where to start? She really didn't want
to do it in the first place, especially at five thirty in the morning, but it had to
be done. She started by sauntering over to her dresser and picking up seven pairs of
sock. One a day for a week, the maximum amount of time it would take before laundry
was done. Se probably wouldn't need them all, but she was just being safe. She
threw them on her bed. She pulled out practically all of her t-shirts and threw them
on her bed. Folded, shmolded. Would she wear jeans in Cali? Possibly. She grabbed
on pair, a lightwash. She'd also need shorts. Shorts were definitely a must-have.
She grabbed seven pairs, just like the socks,
And what about formal wear? Would she need it? Maybe not, but she felt the urge
to bring some. And there was always Idol Give Back and the finale. Yes, she
thought, good clothes were a good idea. She had two simple dresses that were almost
identical, but one was a deep purple, and one was a periwinkle blue. She put them
both on her bed. She also threw a pair of tights on her bed, as well.
She glanced at the clock. It was almost six o'clock , just as she suspected. Her
budding internal clock was quite good, but sometimes early mornings threw her off.
She was kind of tired now, and very hungry.
Ashley quickly padded downstairs, eager for breakfast. There was a strange
feeling in the pit of her gut, though. Was it nervousness? No, no it wasn't that.
Fear? Nope. No, she was probably just a little worried over the danger of the
mission and all. She swallowed and proceeded downstairs.
"Hey, mom!" she shouted. "What's for breakfast?"
That afternoon, Harm and Mac went to the girls' schools to explain their
'situation' to the principals. Lindsay's elementary school principal was easy to
covince, and sent her sympathies to Frank, who was allegedly dying from a brain
tumour. Yes, they'd used General Cresswell's wackly suggestion, solely because they
had nothing better.
However, the principal of H.J. Coneely Middle School would not be so easy, even if
the story was 100% truthful, which it wasn't. Mr. Munroe hated Ashley. In fact, he
hated all of the Rabbs. Within Ashley's first week at the school back in September,
she had beat up a boy who called her friend Breagh a 'two-timing, slutbag whore.'
Despite the protests of Ashley, Bregah and the rest, and the best efforts of Harm and
Mac, she was stuck with a two-day, in school suspention. Ever since then, the
principal wouldn't even speak civily to them.
When they opened the office doors, the secretary looked up from her computer,
"Good afternoon, Colonel MacKenzie, Captain Rabb. What can I do for you today?"
"We'd like to see Mr. Munroe, please," said Mac.
"I'll page him for you," the secretary said. "just go in and sit in his office
over there," she said, pointing to the door to her right.
As Harm and Mac sat down in identical leather armchairs, they both dreaded the
coming encounter, knowing how much Mr. Munroe disliked them.
''What are the odds he'll believe us?" Harm asked?
''Oh, he'll believe us, alright,'' replied Mac, ''but he'll be angry. I mean it
really is a lame excuse. There's no reason you can't just go and see Frank.''
''Well,'' said Harm mockingly, ''if you're feeling THAT uncreative, marine, just
let me handle this one.''
''Handle what?'' asked a jeering voice from behind them.
Harm and Mac rose from their chairs to shake Mr. Munroe's large, rough hands.
"So, what brings you here today? Oh please, sit.''
"Well," Harm began, "we have a small matter to discuss with you that involves our
daughter Ashley missing some school, and we'd like to discuss the matter with you."
"Oh really?" Mr. Munroe asked grimly, a disgustingly fake smile pasted on his
face. ''How much?"
Harm gulped. He hadn't espected that. How do you tell a deranged principal that
hated your guts that you were taking your daughter (whose guts he also hated) out of
school for ten weeks?
"Oh, we don't really know yet, sir, but it will be a fair amount of thime."
Mac had just saved his ass, hadn't she? Damn, she did that too often!
''You see, Captain Rabb's step-father is terminally ill. He has a brain tumour,
and we don't know how much longer he has." The lawyer in Mac was starting to come
out. Play with your words, twist the story a bit, make them feel what you want them
Mr. Munroe did not remove the cheesy grin from his face. "I'm so... sorry to hear
that." His voice was so depressingly emotionless!
"Thank you, it's been hard on us all. Anyway, Captain Rabb here has his legal
power of attorney, so he needs to be there in California to make any legal decisions.
The girls would appreciate the chance to say goodbye, so we're sor of making a
vacation out of it."
Harm had to admit, the execution was perfect. Sadness when she told him Fank was
dying, frankness with the reasoning, and trying to sound as though it wasn't all that
bad towards the end. Pretty good.
"Somber vacation, I'd wager," the principal said cruelly. "Why doesn't his wife
have the power to make his legal decisions?"
Now it was Mac's turn to curse herself inwardly. She glanced at Harm, as though
to say, 'your turn, hotshot!' He took the hint.
"She's... err... not all there, you could say. A bit mad, is actually more like
"Oh I see," Mr. Munroe said, although he clearly did not.
''So we just came to ask about what you think we should do school-wise. We'll be
gone a month at the very least. If Ashley could get any homework and assignments and
such, it'd be much appreciated,'' Mac finished beautifully.
The disgustingly cheesy smirk finally left the face of the principal. ''I, quite,
frankly, do not see why your daughters have to accompany you. You too, Mrs. Rabb.''
''First of all,'' Mac said, slightly angered, ''it's Colonel MacKenzie. And I'm
sorry you feel that way, but we will all be leaving for LaJolla on Saturday.
"However, if you don't feel the need to provide Ashley with any work, that's okay.
She doesn't really need need it.''
Mr. Munroe turned a deep shade of beet red. "You think I'm scared of those
uniforms, don't you? You're trying to anger me! Psych me, just like you all do!
Get me while I'm down, no? Reverse psychology, I see.''
"No sir, I was merely-''
''Oh, she'll get the work all right." The man was turning purpler by the word.
''It'll all come home tomorrow! Lots of work, just like you asked for! Don't worry!
Good day, now,'' he finished quickly, getting up and leaving his office.
Harm and Mac gazed at each other momentarily, then burst out it fits of laughter.
On the way out, Harm leaned over to the secretary and whispered, "Is he all okay?
Not a bit mad or anything?"
The secretary looks around, then whispered back, ''he says he's fine, but everyone
thinks he's a little crazy, yes. And he's never here on Friday afternoons, if you
know what I mean.''
So that explained it, Harm chuckled to himself.
That night, Ashley sat on her bed, feeling quite alone. Why wasn't she excited?
She was going to meet the American Idols! But whatever that sinking feeling was in
the pit of her stomach, it wouldn't go away. The more she reassured herself that she
was just worried about whoever was behind all of this, the worse she felt.
Eventually, she just had to pick up a Junie B. Jones book just to keep from throwing
At 10:00, Mac came in and sat on the bed next to her,
"You know," she said softly, "you really should get to sleep. You still have
Ashley sighed. "I know, but I can't."
"Too excited?" Mac inquired.
"No. I'm not excited at all." How about worried, anxious, depressed and
nauseous, she thought to herself.
"Why?" Mac asked. "You and Lindsay will have so much fun. It's going to-"
''Mom, what if terrorists blow us up? What if we die? What if all but one of us
dies? Then what would the other one do? Wouldn't that be like the ultimate
"Oh, sweet pea!" Mac exclaimed, wrapping her arms around her daughter. ''That's
not going to happen. Things will be fine, I promise. You have no need to worry.
You should just enjoy your time, okay? Okay?" Mac said expectantly.
''Yeah, okay," Ashley said. She didn't sound very relieved, though. "But say
someting did happen? What if?"
"Well," Mac began, "what if is a big question. What of the world ends tomorrow?
What if I have seven husbands? What Lindsay's not really your sister? What if your
dad and I died this afternoon and we're really ghosts? What if you're really a guy
and we gave you a gender reassignment when you were born because we really wanted a
little girl and we never told you? What if? But let me tell you this; if anyone
dares to touch my babies, oh, they're going to have one angry marine to deal
"Thanks, Mom!" Ashley said. "Good night. I love you!"
Eventually, Ahsley fell into a light and disturbed sleep. During the night, she
had a terrible dream about her mom shooting someone. She didn't know who he was, but
she knew that he was Muslim, and that he was very bad. When she woke up the next
morning, she had a sinking suspicion she'd had that dream at least once before. And
that sinking feeling in the pit of her gut? It wasn't gone yet.
Good? Bad? Ugly? Review please! I know it's kind of long, but that's the way most
of the rest of the story is gonna be. And thanks, winterpenguin26, for the reviews!
Last edited: 27 July 2008