Bedlam (an acrostic poem)


Bonkers, it’s absolutely bonkers I say.”

Everything is in turmoil?”

Double turmoil, with a cherry on top and a fireball whiskey chaser!”

Let’s calm down for a moment.  What happened?”

All I can say is it involves a fish, a poleaxe, and two large bottles of ammonia.”

Maybe it’s best if I don’t know.  I don’t want to go to jail!”

The Hard Stare

“Do you understand your rights?” she asked.

I nodded glumly, my hands behind my back.  I couldn’t bring myself to look into her eyes.  I just wished this nightmare would end, but I knew this was just the beginning.

“So do you want to tell me again how this happened,” she asked as she gestured to the minivan that currently was missing its passenger side door and side mirror.  It had been pristine just thirty minutes ago, just like my life.  Now?  Well, I would be lucky if I just lost an arm to this one.

“I really wouldn’t,” I said as I kept my gaze on the blacktop wishing I could just sink into it and disappear.

Not getting what she wanted out of me, she turned to my friend, Smitty.  “What about you Byron?” she asked.

“His name is Smitty, not Byron,” I correct her, but all that earned me was another one of those stares.  I started to think about how friendly I was going to have to become with some guy named Luscious or Luthor or something even worse.  What had I been thinking?

“Which do you prefer to be called?” she asked, giving Smitty the hard stare.  I could see out of the corner of my eye that Smitty had already broke, and she had only asked him two questions.  I was going to do hard time for sure.

Smitty’s voice cracked as he answered.  “Whichever you want, ma’am,” Smitty said, stammering the whole way.  I now worried about the guy.  I mean, pissing himself couldn’t be far away now.

She caught me looking at Smitty and turned that hard look onto me.  I was ready for it though having seen it before.  I just threw my gaze back at my shoes.  They at least didn’t seem to be scuffed too bad.  I began to wonder if I could outrun everything, but then I realized I really couldn’t outrun the law, especially since she was right here.

“So Byron?” she asked.  “What happened?”

“We were going to shoot a bit of the movie,” Smitty said.  “Bentley told me to…”

She interrupted him immediately.  “Who is Bentley?” she asked.

“That’s my street name,” I said.  “It’s all about what I’ll be driving in a few years.”

She turned her attention back to me.  “Really, Bentley.”  She emphasized the Bentley as if it was a dirty word.  “You think you’re going to be driving anytime soon?” she asked.

“I wasn’t even driving,” I said.  I immediately regretted saying that.

“Is this your vehicle?” she asked in a hush tone.

“Well, yes,” I said.  I wanted to fidget so badly, but I knew any sign of weakness now was going to be the end of me.  Still there was nothing to do under her stare down.  I’m sure she has put hardened murderers to their knees with that look of scorn.  I’m just a sixteen year old kid.  I can’t handle that kind of pressure, even after all this time.  “Look, I know I did a stupid thing.  If you can just let me go this one time,” I blurt out.

Smitty looked at her and me with a look like he’s about to blow chunks.  She never stops looking my way as she waves her hand dismissing Smitty.  “Get home, Byron,” she said.  “Tell your mother she should expect a call from me later tonight.”

Smitty looked like he got a get out of jail free card and been tased at the same time.  Still, he wasted no time and ran out of there as fast as he could.  I so wished that was me, but she had who she wanted.  Heck I had even confessed.  “Look, I…”

She cut me off again.  “Just be quiet young man.  You’re lucky I don’t drag your sorry behind down to the station right now,” she said.

“You’re not even on duty,” I said.

She pointed at the deformed van again.  “When something like that happens I’m always on duty,” she said.

“Mom, I said I’m sorry,” I said, stamping my foot.

She shook her finger at me.  “Don’t mom me young man.  Right now I’m Officer Callahan to you,” she said as she reached out and dragged me into the house to call my dad.

And you thought your mom was tough.