Jimmy Jam sat in his backyard sharpening his switch blade while mumbling to himself. Jimmy wasn’t feeling well, and when he didn’t feel well, he usually went to the back yard to sharpen things and mumble. At first, the neighbors and local law enforcement complained to Jimmy’s mom and second dad, but then they stopped when they realized that letting Jimmy Jam sit and mumble to himself was one of the only times he would sit still and when he sat still, everyone won. Buildings went un-vandalized, stabbings went down, fires happened less often. Birds sang louder, and every man, woman, mental health professional, and child breathed a sigh of relief.
The reason he wasn’t feeling well that day was because he had just been brought back from the dead (again) and wasn’t used to being alive yet. This was the fifth time Jimmy had been resurrected by his wizard uncle. Coming back from the dead is difficult, even for adults, so it’s no wonder that Jimmy wasn’t feeling well.
He’d been in the back yard since before the sun had finished rising. He didn’t go back in for nothing, not even to use the bathroom. He held it in like a pro or went behind the bushes, like a pro. If he went inside, even just to pee, his mom would try and make him stay inside so she wouldn’t have to worry about him getting into trouble or dying. “I hate when that old bag worries about me, makes me want to stab her,” Jimmy stated to no one other than himself.
Satisfied by the sharpness of his knife, Jimmy smiled and laid on his back to stare at clouds. He loved doing this. He liked how the clouds would make shapes and speak in whispers to him. He got some of his best ideas from listening to the clouds.
“Destroy the notion of bed time.” the clouds once told him. Jimmy did destroy bedtime, and it was great for a while until he died of sleep deprivation.
“Stop taking baths.” was another thing the clouds once said. Jimmy listened to the clouds and did what they said that time too, and he also died.
Every time Jimmy listened to the clouds, he would go on a crazy adventure and end up dead. His mother no longer wept. She was tired of weeping. Plus, there wasn’t a need for it. You see, Jimmy’s mom’s brother was a wizard and knew how to bring little kids back from the dead. All he needed was 80% of Jimmy’s corpse, a few of his toys, and a few days to make some phone calls and Jimmy would be wrapped right back up in his mortal coil as though nothing had happened.
His mother appreciated this a whole bunch, what kind of mother wouldn’t like to go to sleep knowing their child will probably be dead in the morning because he’s off doing something the clouds told him to do and that it’ll be OK because your brother can make it go back to normal? Not many mothers wouldn’t like that.
Jimmy smiled at the sky and put a candy cigarette between his lips and closed his eyes halfway, “This is the best” he thought “Nothing beats a good smoke and cloud stare. I wonder what they’ll tell me to do today?”
Jimmy floated between being awake and being asleep for some time without noticing how similar it was to hovering between life and death. He eventually dozed off and may or may not have had a dream. If he did dream, it’s safer if we don’t know nothing of what transpired.
After a while, around lunch time, his cell phone rang. Jimmy guessed it was his mother because she was the only one that called him on this line. He had a different phone that he used for his other, more derelict activities and business opportunities. That phone was safely stored underneath the floorboards of his bed room. He wouldn’t wouldn’t need it for awhile; he was on sick leave until he got used to being alive again.
He sent the call straight to voicemail and mumbled things you shouldn’t say about your mom under his breath. As he helped himself to another candy cigarette, a large orange and white moving van pulled into the driveway next door.
The house to the left of his mom’s house had been for sale for almost half a year. Jimmy didn’t like the old people who lived there, and he hated their dog more. They left because the price of constantly suing Jimmy’s mom over broken windows became more expensive than just fixing them without the aid of the legal system.
Curious, Jimmy army crawled over to the hedges that separated the two back yards to see what he could see. There was nothing unusual about the scene that met him. Nothing odd or out of place greeted his eyeballs as he looked through the bushes. It was just a moving truck, and behind that, a station wagon had just pulled into the driveway. A grown up man got out of the truck and walked towards the station wagon. A grown up woman got out of the driver’s side of the station and walked towards the truck. The passenger side door of the car opened and a little girl about Jimmy’s age leapt out and did a somersault. When she stood up, she ran around her mother’s car three time before shaking her fist at the sun and yelling “Not today, ass hat!!”
“Sally!!” Both her parents said at the same time.
“Shut up jerks,” Sally screamed and climbed into the back seat of the station wagon.
“I like the cut of this dame’s jib” Jimmy said as he stood up a little bit taller than usual. He brushed some, but not all of the dirt off his backside and thought about going to meet the new neighbors.
If he was going to get to meet Sally without any big people around, he was going to need a distraction. He decided to go tell his mom about the new neighbors, and she would want to come out to meet them. This would give him the perfect opportunity to meet Sally.
Before Jimmy ran inside Sally shot out of the back seat. She was now wearing a cool leather jacket identical to the one Jimmy wore, but pink instead of black. He thought he saw the handle of a straight razor poking out of one of her pants pockets, but wasn’t sure yet. Jimmy might have been only six, but he knew that tons of things had handles and you needed to see the whole thing and not just the handle if you were going to know what something was.
“Shit, I’m the coolest kid in town,” Jimmy said to himself but not like he usually does. Usually, he declares his cool with confidence and grace, today he said it like he was telling himself a lie. He was lying to himself, sort of. Up until that truck pulled in Jimmy was the coolest kid in town and everyone knew it. He knew that wasn’t true anymore. He was just the coolest boy in town that made Sally the coolest girl in town. Jimmy didn’t know if he was ready to share the title of coolest. Just then he heard the clouds “She wants to knife fight you.” Jimmy smiled, he loved knife fights.
He ran inside and explained to his mom what was going on and when he finished she said “Oh, I forgot to tell you about that. Our new neighbors would be coming today. They’re going to be here for dinner in a little bit, so please be good.”
“Oh, I’ll be good alright, don’t you worry your stupid head about it, ya snot face.”
“Thanks dear.” is all his mother said before draining her mug and holding back some tears.
“She’s always crying, the big baby.” Jimmy thought to himself as he went to wash up in the bathroom.
After he washed up, the neighbors still weren’t there. Patience was not a concept Jimmy was aware of so he went back outside hoping to find Sally. He wanted to get this knife fight over before dinner if possible.
He found Sally in her new front yard climbing a tree.
“Hey” he said.
“Hey, yourself.” She hissed while jumping from the tree.
“My name is Jimmy. Jimmy Jam. I’m not sure yet if it’s nice to meet you.”
“People call me Slam. Sally Slam. I’m the coolest kid from my old town. That’s why I have this jacket.”
“I’m the coolest kid in this town,” Jimmy replied.
“Yeah, I can tell from your jacket. This is gonna be a problem isn’t it?”
“Depends” Jimmy answered, “I ain’t too keen on being demoted to coolest boy kid in town.”
“Same here, I’m the coolest kid, period. No way I’m settling for coolest girl kid.”
“So we do have a problem. How do you want to solve it?” Jimmy’s hand went into his back pocket, and he felt the handle of his newly sharpened switchblade.
“Knife fight.” Said Sally as her hand went around the mysterious handle that stuck out of one of her pockets.
“First blood or to the death?” He asked.
“My aunt is a witch, I’m not afraid to die, she brings me back.”
Jimmy’s eyes grew wide. “My uncle is a wizard, and he brings me back too.”
Sally locked eyes with Jimmy and withdrew the thing from her pocket. Jimmy was right; it was a straight razor.
“To the death then.”
Jimmy’s switchblade opened with a muted click, and the two began to circle each other.
Jimmy tried to trick Sally by saying “Look over there!” but it didn’t work.
She spit at him and missed; they continued to dance.
It went on for hours.
They stared at, circled, and bluffed each other without anyone gaining the upper hand. They were getting hungry from missing dinner. Hunger makes people sloppy. Sally got a lucky swipe in and cut Jimmy in the neck. As she stepped back to point and laugh at him, Jimmy saw an opening and sunk his blade into her chest before falling to the ground and losing consciousness.
Sally dropped to her knees and fell on Jimmy. Her world went black. “The lawn will feed on blood tonight. ” Was the very last thought that ran through her head.
The bodies were discovered after dinner when the Slams were leaving. The two sets of parents had plenty of time to complain about their kids that evening. They had so much in common that they were all best friends well before after dinner coffee was served.
“Well, would you look at that.” Said Mr. Slam.
“That’s not surprising at all.” Said Mrs. Jam.
Mr. Jam turned to Mrs. Slam and asked “So, your cousin is a witch?”
“My sister is one, and she’s as sick of shit shit as I am.”
“Let’s put them in the cooler for a few days. I’m sure we could all use the break.”
“It’s true!” Said the survivors and they all laughed.
Everything worked out perfectly. The children’s bodies were stored in the cooler for about a week. All the parents enjoyed the lack of drama and violence. Soon enough, witches were called, and wizards were notified, and both children were back to their old selves. Neither the wiser for their ordeal.