Columbus Day Weekend Mayhem

The first weekend of October led to a fest of sorts involving finger foods for Alvin Andante. When one of those snacks turned out to contain a real finger, it seemed more like Halloween. Suddenly Alvin’s California Health Insurance agent was sounding like a genius. 


On Saturday, October 2nd Alvin Andante took his teenage daughter Amy to a festival for Goths not far from her high school campus in Oxnard. A relevant flyer had touted the event as a “creepy day of fun that even Poe’s immortal raven would have loved” and stated, ominously as it turned out, that “anyone less than 18 would have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.” This combination of wording should have given Alvin pause. In fact, just a few weeks prior, he’d been buying a new family policy at the office of Jim, Alvin’s friendly yet savvy California Health Insurance agent, and Jim had warned Alvin that fourteen-year-old Amy was “a rather impulsive teenager” and as a parent of three boys, three girls, and numerous pets, he should know. Amy just looked at her Dad and this man who sold health insurance and laughed her famous wicked laugh. But that was weeks ago.

“Please Daddy Waddy,” she had pleaded that morning. With her blonde hair dyed an inky black and a  macabre piercing protruding from her lower lip that made her Daddy wince just to think about, how could he refuse?

At the booth where they sold finger foods, Alvin bought a breaded concoction which looked tasty.  When he bit down on something crunchy that snapped and cracked between his teeth, and almost immediately heard his daughter scream, followed by her famous wicked laugh, as she held up her bloody hand with what appeared to be a broken finger …

Was that terror he saw in his daughter’s peculiar eyes? Why was she laughing if he’d just broken her finger? Within minutes, her entire hand began to swell, and one of his questions got neatly answered – even if the jagged bone fragment spelled ‘mayhem’ with a lowercase M.

“We’re going to Urgent Care little girl,” he yelled above the din in his paternal mind. He also told Amy to stop that idiotic laughter as it was confusing him. Father and daughter took off toward their Lexus just as something avian and hideous, was that a raven?—swooped down from a Gothic sky.

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