The Legend of Tim Higgelmottham
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Tim Higgelmottham, and he was a loser. His loser status was officially recognized at the Semi-Annual Conference on Lameness, Loserdom, Excessive Weirdness, and Disgusting Smells—SACLLEWDS for short. The co-Chairs of the committee—Lucy Windham and Tommy Ribbins—presided over the conference. Lucy and Tommy, both 3rd graders at the height of their power, reigned over Nikola Tesla Elementary School with an iron fist, covered with spiky things dipped in dog snot. In this social climate, most concluded that the best choice was to live quiet lives and pray that Lucy and Tommy’s reign would be brief due to their families moving, alien abduction, or the President finally coming down on tyrannical elementary school dictators.
Until four days ago, Tim had been relatively okay with most of his classmates—even considered somewhat cool. The “incident,” as it had come to be known, changed all that. Now he was simply a loser, someone no other child would be seen with. The moment Lucy heard of the “incident” she pounced at the opportunity to publicly shame Tim—her old nemesis. In her mind, this would be her legacy.
“Tim Higgelmottham. You are charged with being a loser due to suspicion of bed wetting,” said Lucy, from her judge’s perch atop the monkey bars. “How do you plea?”
Tim stood stock still, but could feel so many eyes boring into him that he could not help but tremble. Lucy was a despicable little girl, always determined to be in control of her situation. She was the brains and Tommy the muscle, mainly because he was three inches taller than anyone else. Widespread suspicion was that he was older than nine, perhaps even eleven. Tim could only mutter a short phrase: “It’s not true!”
Lucy allowed the cruel smile, known as her trademark, to curl into her lips. She had proof that unknowing Tim count not refute—video proof.
“But it’s not true,” Tim said vehemently, looking around.
Lucy held out her still baby fat hand to Tommy, who produced the video evidence.
“So you deny you wet the bed and call the person a liar?”
Tim didn’t immediately answer, as he knew he had to carefully craft his answer.
He hadn’t done that since kindergarten. He remembers feeling something warm stream down his leg and seeing his door close behind a shadow. He never understood why she hated him. Her contempt started soon after his mom and her dad said ‘I do,’ and moved into his mom’s house.
After school, Tim sat alone on the curb waiting for his dad to pick him up. Tim’s dad parked and bear hugged him.
“Sorry I’m late,” the Navy SEAL said.
“Your beard is thick. How was Afghanistan?”
His dad cried while Tim explained the predicament. Dad angrily dumped his ever present rucksack onto the concrete. He handed over Sea Marker, Vaseline, grease pencil, micro video camera, and gloves.
“Tim, these are tools. Your mind is the ultimate weapon.”
“Dad, is this fair?”
“Nothing is fair about war. No mercy. ”
“Will mom be mad?”
“Yes, but you’re worth it.”
Tim’s head was spinning. But if he was do this he had to be sure.
Tim kissed his mom and saw dinner was his favorite, spaghetti and meatballs.
He washed his hands and after he returned to the table, he asked, “Mom, if I were to do something I thought was right, but might be a problem at school, would you be angry?”
“What kind of something?”
“I can’t tell you.”
She looked angrily at Tim and replied, “Something else you got from your father?”
Dinner was silent and it tasted like ashes in Tim’s mouth.
The next day, Tim cornered Lucy in the hallway at school and kissed her on the cheeks. Everyone saw what he did, including Ms. Carter, the teacher assigned to monitor the hallway on that day. He captured the moment with an iphone. He pressed the FB icon and uploaded it.
“I can’t believe you kissed me” said Lucy.
Before Tim could respond, Ms. Carter grabbed the phone.
“Hey, that’s my dad’s” Tim said.
“He’ll have to come get it” said Ms. Carter
A sea of ooh’s erupted as she led Tim and Lucy in the direction of the principal’s office.
Ms. Carter diverted Tim and Lucy to her small, glue scented office and closed the door.
“Tim, would you care to explain what is going on here?”
“He kissed me!” Lucy said. “You saw it.”
Ms. Carter ignored her.
“Nothing, Ms. Carter. Just happy to see my sister.”
“Higgelmottham, I saw that kiss. I also saw ‘The Godfather,’ so unless you’d like to explain to Ms. Torkle, you’d better start talking to me.”
“Ms. Carter, have you ever heard of plausible deniability?”
Tim watched as his step-sister’s jaw dropped.
It’s time, Tim thought. Time for ultimate weapon deployment.
At home, Lucy had heard Tim whisper, “Mom, whatever happens, remember—plausible deniability,” immediately before something freaky happened.
A vase shattered once, all by itself. Drawers opened and closed.
What’s he up to this time?
Tim had prepared for days, and planned the hallway commotion that got them into trouble. Earlier, when his father said, “Your mind is the ultimate weapon,” he informed Tim of his strengths—he had undergone the same change at thirteen.
The wet sheets were from sweat, not urine.
Tim had super-telekinesis. That day, in Carter’s office, the Legend began.
The pencil holder rattled and tipped.
Tim heard the death-rattle of her 3rd grade reign in the clatter of pencils. He allowed himself a small chuckle. Lucy’s eyes widened with fear. Perfect.
Ms. Carter glared at them both.
“You still haven’t explained yourself, young man.”
Outside the small office several doors slammed.
“It’s glowing!” someone yelled.
Ms. Carter frowned at the door.
“Stay here! I’ll be right back. Don’t move.”
Lucy’s eyes darted between Tim and the teacher, pleading.
Ms. Carter left them alone.
Tim activated the tiny camera hidden under his collar. The bottle of Vaseline waited patiently in his pocket. Let’s roll.
Tim bent pretending to check his shoelaces and in the same motion, slipped the Vaseline bottle out of his pocket and set it on the floor. He closed his eyes and slowly, the bottle lifted off the gleaming tiles and began to disappear under Ms. Carter’s desk.
“You’re such a dork” Lucy spat.
“Look, a cockroach!” Tim replied pointing at her feet.
She screamed and jumped off the chair stamping her feet in panic. It was just the distraction Tim needed. She didn’t see the bottle fly from behind Ms. Carter’s desk and into her jacket pocket. It was empty.
Ms. Carter stomped back in, asking Lucy why her locker was oozing bright green powders. Lucy looked dumbfounded and Tim pretended he had no clue of what was going on either.
“What do you mean, Ms. Carter?” replied Lucy.
“You better get out in this hallway and open your locker now!” Ms. Carter yelled.
“It sounds messy. Here, take these,” Tim said, handing her the latex gloves.
Suspicious, Lucy still accepted the gloves, not knowing Tim painted the outside with the grease pencil. Lucy was sweating horrifically as she approached her locker, wiping her face with the newly applied gloves.
© 2013 The Fantastic Fifteen Writers & The Magill Review
Beginning July 29th, The Magill Review will host a special short story project that has 15 authors—The Fantastic Fifteen.
Each writer will supply a “chapter” when it is their turn, but each “chapter” can only be 100 words—no more, no less. So thecompleted story will be exactly 1500 words long. This is a very challenging project that not only adds the difficulty of a collaborative fiction project, but also that self-editing challenge inherent by only being allowed 100 words. Writers much choose those words wisely.
Current participants are (in order of when their contribution will post):
July 29 — Richard Eaker, Contributing Writer to The Magill Review
August 5 — Josh Magill, Editor of The Magill Review
August 12 — Joe Owens, The pen behind “Joe’s Musings” and TMR Contributing Writer
August 19 — Erica Hines, The inspiration for “A Short A Day.”
August 26 — Rob Akers, Writer of his own blog here.
September 2 — Thaddeus Howze, a writer at Hub City Blues.
September 9 — Elvis Alves, author of the poetry collection, Bitter Melon. Check him out here.
September 23 — M.L. Swift, the “master of the house” at M.L. Swift, Writer
September 30 — Abby Jones, spinner of urban fantasy at Worlds Before the Door.
October 7 — Alexander Ikawah, author of Creative Samples Kenya.
October 14 — Franklin Durden, a beginning writer looking to share more. His writing can be seen here.
October 21 — Ambrozya, a muse for many on her own blog.
October 28 — Angela Magill, Contributing Writer to The Magill Review.
November 4 — Karlene Petitt, author of the aviation thriller, “Flight for Control.” You can read about her here.