Happy Birthday, Dex!
Hello, all! Today is Dexter J. Daley's birthday, and to celebrate I thought we should have a birthday themed flash fiction story! Plus there's a giveaway below. Here's to many more years of gummy bear chaos, cheesy doodle mayhem, and heartfelt shenanigans!
Prompt: Dex's 4th or 5th Birthday? The last one with John and Gina and "Uncle Tony"? I can just imagine Dex, a Piñata, and John managing to somehow make the nonexplosive paper donkey go up in sugar fueled flames. Face planting into the cake? Something equally goof tastic and Tony trying not to pee himself watching.
Tony walked into the house, greeting some of the parents as they stood around chatting. Squealing kids ran around dressed in Ghostbuster suits, brandishing blasters shooting green Silly String. He could only imagine what John had to promise Gina in order to get her okay on that mess. Something told him John was going to be doing a whole lot of scrubbing and cleaning after the party. There was green everywhere, from the balloons and streamers, to the table filled with green cupcakes, Rice Krispies treats, a big two tier white cake that had been “slimed”, and lots of other gooey green treats.
Tony placed his birthday present on the table along with the dozens of others. He was going to look for John when Dex came barreling into him with a surprise tackle hug.
“Hey, little man!” He lifted Dex up, pretending he weighed a ton. “Ooh, my back. How did you get so big? You’re just four years old aren’t you?”
Dex laughed. “I’m five, silly!”
“Five? Is that right?”
Dex nodded. “Today’s my birthday, remember?”
Tony let out a mock gasp. “Is that what all these balloons are for? It’s your birthday? Good thing I brought you a present then, huh?”
“Yay!” Dex threw his little arms around Tony’s neck and squeezed him tight. When he pulled back, his eyes were wide with excitement, and he twisted his torso so Tony could see his back. “Daddy made us proton packs just like the real Ghostbusters!”
“Wow, I thought they were real!”
Dex giggled. “No. That would be trouble.”
“You’re right. Speaking of trouble. Where’s your dad?” He put Dex on his feet, smiling when Dex pointed to the stairs. Just then Tony heard Gina’s laughter. It was joyous and infection, and Tony couldn’t help but laugh as she came down the stairs. She was laughing so hard she had tears in her eyes.
“Oh, Lord. What’s he done now?”
“I can’t….” She wheezed, doubling over and holding onto her stomach. “You…. Upstairs.”
“Mommy, mommy, can you put on some music?” Dex asked, bouncing excitedly.
Gina wiped at her eyes, and with a sniff, she managed to get a hold of herself long enough to nod, and answer Dex. “Of course, baby. Let’s go.”
Tony braced himself. Who the hell knew what his best friend had done now. He went upstairs, turned, and headed down the hall when he saw it.
“Sweet Baby Jesus.”
Only John’s head was exposed, the rest of his body swallowed by the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume. It was so padded, and puffy, that he’d gotten stuck in the doorway. Tony came to stand in front of him, shaking his head in disbelief. John pouted miserably.
Tony opened his mouth to reply, but nothing came out. He closed it, looked John over, his gaze landing on his best friend’s pathetic expression, and all at once Tony was bracing himself on the wall, unable to breathe from laughing so hard.
“Thanks, pal. You are no help at all.” John grunted and growled as he tried to free himself. The more he tried to free himself, the harder Tony laughed.
“Oh, God.” He was going to run out of oxygen. Man, he wished he’d brought his camera. What was he thinking? Gina had probably already taken several pictures. Tony lay on the hall carpet on his back, his hands on his cramped side as he did his best not to look up at John.
“You bastard. Help me!”
Tony pushed himself to his feet. He pressed his lips together, and came to a stop in front of John. Assessing the situation, he finally placed his hands to John’s chest and pushed.
“Wow. You’re really wedged in there.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
“I was the one who ate your donut yesterday.”
John gasped, his eyes going wide. “How could you? Traitor!”
“You already had two. You know the rules.”
John let out a huff. “I can’t believe you and my wife conspired against me.”
“No, we agreed that you need to eat less junk.” Tony looked him over. How the hell had John gotten so stuck? Probably from all that struggling. “I got an idea.” He walked across the hall to the far wall, turned, and readied himself.
“What are you doing?” John started to struggle again. “No. Stop. Don’t do it.”
Tony grinned. He was so going to enjoy this.
“You, donut-stealing son-of—”
The rest of John’s words turned into an “oomph” as Tony barreled into him at full speed. John popped out of the doorway, bounced across the room, and landed facedown by the bed cursing up a storm. Tony was on the floor laughing again.
“I hate you so much right now.” John narrowed his eyes at him before he tried to get up. All that did was roll him from side to side. Tony plopped himself down in front of John.
“What was that? I thought you said you loved me.”
John muttered something unintelligible under his breath.
“What?” Tony put a hand to his ear and leaned in. “I thought maybe I heard you say, “yes, Tony, I love you. I’d be lost without you. Please help me.” Is that what you said?”
Several more curses followed. “Yes, fine. I love you, Tony, even if you are a donut thief. I’d be lost without you. Please help me, and never speak a word of this to anyone at the office.”
With a wide grin, Tony got to his feet and grabbed John’s Stay Puft arm, and hauled him to his feet. The suit was so padded and puffy, he could barely move.
“Do you need help downstairs?” As if Tony didn’t already know the answer.
“Yes,” John muttered. “This is what I get for trying to make my son’s birthday memorable.”
“Aw, and it will be. I know I won’t forget it,” Tony teased.
“You know what? Just help me downstairs, smartass. Grab my head.”
Tony arched an eyebrow at him. “What now?”
John motioned behind him to the bed and the Marshmallow Man’s head.
John’s lips quirked up on one side. “Perv.”
Tony flipped him off before grabbing the head, and shoving it down over John’s, receiving a muffled “ow” in response. He was pretty sure John would have flipped him off if he could move his fingers. Instead, John shuffled toward the door. Realizing what his genius friend had done, Tony cut him off.
“Please tell me you didn’t try to just walk through the door straight on.” John’s silence spoke volumes. “You know, sometimes I wonder about you.” He ignored John cursing him out some more, and turned his friend sideways before helping him through. There was still some pushing required, but at least he didn’t get stuck. “Good thing Dex inherited Gina’s brains.”
John’s voice was muffled when he spoke, but Tony heard him just fine.
“Shut up, Tony.”
It took forever to get John downstairs, and as expected when they reached the kitchen, all the parents burst into laughter. Clearly Gina had told them it was John in there, along with what happened upstairs.
John managed to raise his arm, and Tony tried not to laugh. He was obviously flipping them off. They all followed John, very slowly, as he shuffled out into the backyard where the kids were. They squealed and jumped around in excitement. They were enthralled, running around John, shooting their Silly String at him. He growled and made monster noises as he shuffled around, pretending to go after them. Dex was fearless, shooting his blaster at the marshmallow monster.
“We have to protect the city!” Dex shouted, wielding his little blaster like a pro.
Gina took pictures, and the parents joined in on the fun. It was amazing. At least until one kid shouted out.
“The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man ate your dad!”
Uh-oh. Tony put a fist to his mouth to keep himself from bursting into laughter. He’d bet his next paycheck that John was furiously shaking his head inside the suit. Of course it was so padded that that he could barely walk much less show movement.
Dex’s big blue eyes widened, and his bottom lip trembled. Gina was about to go comfort him, and assure him his dad was just fine when Dex puffed up his chest. A murderous glare the likes of which Tony had never seen crossed the five-year old’s face. It was the kind of scowl that could scare the pants of the most steadfast officer.
“Dex, wait!” John held his puffed marshmallow man hands out in front of him. “I’m fine. It’s just a—”
Dex let out a war cry before launching himself at John, hitting his blaster against the puffy suit. The parents gasped, stunned as Dex sought revenge. Knowing the thing was padded to the gills, and John was safe from the blows meant Tony could sit back and laugh his ass off. The rest of the kids joined in, knocking John over. He bounced and rolled across the garden, Dex and the kids screaming and running after him.
“You ate my daddy!” Dex screamed, smacking John’s puffy head with his blaster.
“Dex, it’s me! I’m inside!”
In true John fashion, he was making it worse.
“Let him out!” Dex demanded. “Let him out, let him out, let him out!” He bounced on John, and Tony’s everything hurt from laughing.
Gina sidled up next to Tony. “We should probably do something to help.”
“Just give it a minute,” Tony said, doubling over when Dex jumped off John, and started rolling him across the lawn. When he got tired, he pulled on the marshmallow man’s head, and it popped off. John’s face was red and covered in sweat.
“Daddy!” Dex hugged him, and gave him kisses. “You’re not eaten.”
“No, buddy. I’m not eaten.”
“I love you,” Dex said, petting his hair.
“I love you too, champ. Now why don’t you go play, while Mommy and Tony help Daddy salvage what remains of his dignity?”
“Okay.” Dex jumped to his feet, and shouted loud enough for the whole block to hear. “Mommy! Tony! Daddy says he needs help. He lost his dignity!” Seeming not to know what that meant, Dex shrugged then ran off to play.
Tony let out a contented sigh. He smiled down at John when he reached him. “You throw the best parties.” His friend glared up at him.
“You’re lucky there are children present.”
Tony let out a hearty laugh as he and Gina helped John up. Together they escorted him back into the house. Apparently it was going to take both of them to get John out of this getup. As they headed upstairs, Gina gave Tony a wink.
“Don’t worry. There’s plenty of film left in the camera.”
Man, he loved these two.
We're giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to 3 lucky winners. To enter, just leave a comment on this post on Charlie's blog (for those viewing this post on Goodreads or through other feeds).
Giveaway ends 8/25/16 at 12:oo am Eastern US time. Winners will be announced on the blog and emailed for delivery of their prize.