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Turtle Named Rick
A Turtle Named Rick
It’s hard being a seven-year-old, but no one believes you when you say there’s a talking, navy blue-wearing turtle under your bed named Rick, who also had a thing for leaving half-eaten crusty old chicken bones under my new Steve Nash #9 racecar bed.
I tried to tell my parents, but they just smiled.
“What a wonderful imagination you have,” they told me.
Even my big sister Monica doesn’t believe me. She thinks Santa doesn’t exist. What a doofus. I remember when I first asked my parents to look under my bed for a talking turtle. My Mom had a look of confusion written all over her face and my dad thought it was just one of those phases. Then, as he walked out the door to the room across the hallway, he started droning on to my mom about his imaginary friend Buck, the singing and kicking bull.
Rick and I met for the first time earlier that night, when I had gone downstairs for my usual before-bed cup of milk, which is always waiting in the fridge. Mom always keeps my milk next to the previous night’s leftovers, which meant that right next to my racecar cup sat the green bowl with dancing turtles on it, full of Mom’s tasteless mashed potatoes. I reached past them for my cup and made my way back upstairs.
On the way back to my room, I realized that my door had been left slightly ajar. I frowned, wondering who had penetrated my fortress of solitude. Then, walking into my room, I noticed a half eaten chicken bone sitting on my old macaroni picture I did two years ago in kindergarten that hadn’t been there when I left. Just as I crawled into my bed, I glimpsed over to the windowsill and noticed a turtle in a navy blue vest eating mashed potatoes. He sat upright, with his face buried in dancing turtles. He looked up at me with the moonlight on his face, and blinked.
“I’ve been expecting you,” he said.
Still eating the mashed potatoes, the talking turtle introduced himself to me with a crooked grin on his face.
“Hi, my name is Rick, and I am not a figment of your imagination.” Then he went on to say, “These potatoes are great, what’s the recipe?” Suddenly, I felt a bit of moisture condensing in my Homer Simpson pajamas.
“You can talk?” I uttered.
“Well of course I can you silly goose,” he said.
“Why are you here?” I asked him, still stricken with terror. At first he gives me this whole bit on how he was the Grim Reaper, telling me how my time was up. Then he chuckled. “Just joking; I’m here to grant you two wishes.”
He ate another bit of mashed potatoes. However, that was when I told my parents.
And then I finished chapter one of the book “Rick.” The guards at the asylum don’t let me do much but read, and I wanted someone to talk to, even if it meant reading aloud a children’s book. Oh, sorry for the deception. People don’t normally listen to a 43-year-old in straitjacket anymore.