Summary: An evening full of fun and pranks, but who has the last laugh?
Rating: K; Word Count: 600
Ben and Clementine exited Piper’s Opera House sharing smiles and laughter after the play they had just seen.
“Coo, Benjamin, when that body dropped from the ceiling, I thought Miss Abigail Jones was goin’ to faint dead away.” She paused in their walk to catch her breath.
Ben’s deep chuckling didn’t help. “And Joe’s expression was priceless when the headless horseman ran toward him. He’s not going to live that down any time soon when his brothers get wind of him running to the back of the theater.”
As the merriment settled down, the couple strolled happily to Clementine’s boarding house.
“Coo, Benjamin, I thought I left a lamp burnin’. Will ye come in until I get something lit, and perhaps have a spot o’ tea?”
“I’d be pleased to. Hand me the matches and I’ll light your lamps while you fix the tea.”
A short while later, the two friends enjoyed tea and crumpets while continuing their discussion of the play. It was All Hallows Eve and the school children had performed their own version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
As Clemmie refilled their cups, a thump and moan came from the stairs. The two froze and looked at each other. Clemmie set the pot down, scooting closer to Ben. Before she could speak her thoughts, she watched in horror as Harry’s weights rose off the table. With a scream, Clemmie practically jumped into Ben’s lap.
“Benjamin, what’s ‘appenin’!”
Ben’s eyes were transfixed on the floating five hundred pound weight, but then were drawn toward the fireplace.
“It’s ‘arry’s tights, th-they’re dancin’.” She moaned and squeezed Ben’s neck so tightly he began to turn blue.
A voice came from above and around them. “Benjamin, you’ve done me Clemmie a disservice. I know ‘ow ye feel ‘bout ‘er. Ye need to tell ‘er, now. I won’t rest ‘till ye marry ‘er.”
Ben drew his gun before realizing he couldn’t shoot a voice. Instead he hollered at the voice. “Clementine and I are just friends. She’s fine with that so you can just leave us alone….Harry.”
“Oh Benjamin, my ‘arry ain’t one to give up. There’s only one thing you can do.”
Ben already looked horror-stricken but Clemmie’s suggestion made him stop breathing. “Clementine, you can’t be serious!” He squeaked out.
She reached up with both hands and yanked on his jacket lapels to pull him down. “Never more serious in me life. I’m terrified of ‘arry bein’ back from the grave. Please, Benjamin…”
Ben swallowed hard, knelt down, and looked up into Clemmie’s worried face. “Clementine, will you…” He never got to finish, for Clemmie broke out in a huge grin and laughter as she was joined by Adam, Hoss and Joe.
“Well, Pa…don’t let us interrupt you. Best be gettin’ on with it, Ducky, ‘fore ‘arry gets any madder.”
Ben slowly rose up to his full height bringing black eyes and brows to bear on each of his sons. Fuming, he silently snatched his hat, turned and headed to the door.
“Good night, Clementine.” And he was gone.
While the four pranksters continued laughing, Harry’s weights dropped and his tights began to float away from the fireplace.
The four froze, then clambered out the door, blaming Adam for the extra tricks, as Clemmie clung tightly to Hoss. “I didn’t do any of that!”
Sneaking out the way he came in, Ben could no longer contain his laughter after releasing the weights and maneuvering the tights. He decided he wouldn’t reveal that he had turned the prank around on the original pranksters, at least not for a while.
Other Stories by this Author
- Bloodlines (by AC1830)
- Blessings of Friendship (by AC1830)
- Ponderosa Tiger (by AC1830)
- Cowboy Boots and Dancing Shoes, Part 2 (by AC1830)
- A Tribute to Pa (by AC1830)