We heard the sounds of stomping feet running down the A.C. steps. We all looked up as Muddy entered the room. He held two aluminum wrapped, stacked plates.

“Hey guys! I have fresh, hot croissants with melted butter, preserves, and some bacon for you!”

Tim stood up from the eye wash station and cheered as water ran down his face.

“Whoa buddy! Looking kinda rough!” Muddy said as he saw Tim’s red, swollen eye.

“Actually, it looks better then it did when he got up!” Joe told Muddy.

“Huge improvement.” I had to agree. Muddy looked skeptical. “Guys, I’m gonna leave you to eat your breakfast. I will talk to your parents when they arrive, Tim. Please let me know if you need anything else.”

Tim and Joe nodded as they pulled off the aluminum foil and the fragrant steam from the croissants and bacon rose to their smiling faces. Muddy stepped in beside me as we left the A.C. building.


“His eye looks terrible.” Muddy whispered.

“It know it.”

“Bug spray. Who knew?”

“I hadn’t ever thought of it, but it is full of chemicals. Can’t be good for the eye. And an aerosol can to boot. A pump spray would have been bad enough.”

“I feel terrible that we missed it on our initial sweep on day one. He must have had it hidden away for us to miss it.”

I mentally added another slice of cheese to the situation as Muddy and I started along the gravel driveway towards the kitchen deck. I noticed two cars pulling into the parking lot down by the waterfront. Muddy stopped to look and I slowed my pace to a stop.

“It’s staaaaaaarted….” Muddy sang, in a super creepy way. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.


“Visitor’s Day.”

“I hear it’s something, this Visitor Day.” I said.

“Worst. Day. Ever.” Muddy replied, his shoulders slumped and he pouted as we watched a third car pull in.

“What should I expect?”

“The worst. Expect the worst, Anne, and then you won’t be disappointed.” Muddy said as he watched the visitors climb out of their cars. “Oh, well look at that would you! Tim’s parents are here and so is Dr. Holmes.”

“Oh mercy…” I whispered as my pulse quickened and my breakfast threatened a return visit.

mercy? please?




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