Thursday, November 17, 2016

Generation Eight — Chapter Eight: Fires, Aliens and Graduation Robes …

   Trenton stood over the grill, casually cooking up some hot dogs for his hungry family, when he began to smell a most curious smell. A smokey aroma. And, he was beginning to feel unusually warm. Before he knew it, he was on fire. Now, he understood poor Hannah’s situation. Once again, Gramps came to the rescue, fire extinguisher at the ready. Trenton was saved.
    Upon inspection, he quickly realized Hannah wasn’t at fault for the fire she managed to set. The barbecue grill, itself, had a problem, a broken valve or something. Happily, the insurance gave them a modest check to cover their losses. Which wasn’t enough to replace the very fine, expensive barbecue grill they owned, but, he was just glad to be alive. 
    “Now, who’s a walking fire hazard,” Hannah laughed upon seeing her father blackened head to foot. She, her brother and their mother came pouring out of the house to find Trenton standing in the drive. 

    “Ha-ha,” he coolly replied.
    Hannah gave her father a hug. “No more cooking for you!” she said.
    Later in that same week, all three of the kids were home of an evening, playing “Don’t Wake the Llama”. An odd sound reverberated above the house. This time the ground didn’t shake, but the thrumming continued for a bit.
    Trenton came in from work. “Anybody seen Gramps?” 

    “Not since he made dinner for us,” Seth answered.
    “I do hope you’ve all got your homework done. Just a couple more days left of school. I’d really like to see you get those grades up.”
    “Homework is done,” Betsy said, “And we each finished the extra credit, too.”
    Hannah stretched in her chair. “If we have to rehearse the grad ceremony one more time, I may just skip it.” Suddenly, Gramps came floating through the walls of the house. He had a curious look on his ghostly face.
    “You all right, Gramps?” Seth asked.
    “Just a little dazed. Going to bed, now.”
    The next evening Trenton walked out front. He was beginning to feel his age. His three children would graduate the night before they all became young adults. Where had the time gone? Just as he was walking along the front drive, that same eerie thrumming filled the night. He could almost feel the air itself pulse in a rhythm. Next thing he knew, he was frozen, caught up in the bright beam of light that emanated from the hovering saucer above. Unable to fight, he was drawn upward. Seeing his house way beneath him was strange.
    Hours later they unceremoniously plopped him back down in his front yard. Feeling  considerably dazed, he staggered inside, wobbled up the stairs and flung himself upon his bed to sleep it off. Understandably, Trenton slept late.  The next evening was the graduation ceremony. Trenton, Tiana, Gramps, Jett, Jaron and James were all in attendance. Foregoing a formal party, since there was a birthday party in the works, the triplets went off to San Myshuno for some fun.
    Early the next morning, Trenton and Tiana sat on the patio table eating their breakfast finalizing the plans of the birthday bash for their triplets. They rented a bar for the patio, a table to house a punch fountain, bought another table for the cakes — it was decided each deserved their own set of candles to blow out, and Gramps got busy baking. He seemed better than the night he arrived back from having been abducted for a second time in his afterlife life. He said little, and refused to even speak of it. Other than to suggest he’d told them where they could go. 

    Trenton also was reticent to speak of his experiences. Although, he figured it would help him in his chosen career. He now was of a mind to rid himself of that little alien specimen he’d found while cleaning out a pod the first day he was on the job.
    Finally, the triplets arrived home. The days were shortened for Seniors, who only had to show up for attendance, basically. Some got their Yearbooks signed. Seth made sure to say goodbye to his favorite teachers. “Come on, come on, come on!” Hannah said, tugging at his jacket. “There’s a party at home! Let’s go.” 

   Slowly, the guests poured into the house. Gramps laid out three cakes, ablaze with candles. Getting all three teens corralled long enough to blow them out was another story.  But, at last, the party requirements were fulfilled. Trenton was now the father of three young adults. Somehow, a mountain rolled off of his shoulders — or perhaps, it was merely the fact that he was two-fisting the drinks that had him feeling rather relaxed.
Or maybe it was that the graduation ceremonies were behind them. All three managed to pull in A’s which made their parents very proud. All three owned their official diplomas, picked up at school today.
    Trenton sat on the coping of their pool, draped an arm about Tiana, and began to discuss just what they were going to do, once they became Empty-Nester's. And just how he was going to feel passing the Patriarchal crown to their only son, Seth. Bitter-sweet though the moment was, he was pleased that while the girls were talking of moving out, Seth would be staying on. 

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