Marticus was lying on a couch making a sketch for a robot when Barkus found him. She had a crumbled up piece of paper in her hand.
“You won’t believe what happened to me.”
Marticus looked up without much interest. He had plenty of time on his hands; Saint Marcus had sent him to Time Out for the summer. He had made the mistake of launching off a rocket in Big House. The damage caused to the roof was extensive and the insurance company would not pay for the cost. They said the insurance policy did not cover explosions caused by the people shooting off rockets in their houses. Saint Marcus had to hire a lawyer to make a claim against the insurance company. And that was a disaster in itself. The lawyer charged hundreds of dollars per hour and she predicted it would be a year or two before the insurance company settled. Which meant that Saint Marcus had to try to squeeze more money out of no money in order to patch the roof enough to keep the rain out. They ended up with a plastic cloth on the roof held in place with bricks. No way would it work when the rainy season came.
Now Saint Marcus was in a complete state of panic about the finances of the Marcus family. She had a bad case of the “F’s”: she was more flustered and frazzled and frenzied and flipped-out than ever before. And she forbid Marticus from working on any new projects. She freaked out. She said he was unsafe. That he had to be supervised. That he was a menace and a danger.Guess what happened.”
Barkus said, “so I get to school this morning and everybody in my grade is laughing at me.”
“Your love toy?”
“He got me a dozen roses.”
“Roses? Aren’t you a little young for that sort of thing?”
“And he brought them to school. Like he was there an hour early or something. He was just waiting by my locker all slicked up with a tie and with this big bouquet of roses and everybody saw him waiting there.”
“So what did you do?”
“I went up to him and told him to leave me alone. I did not want any stupid flowers.”
“What’d he say?”
“He said that he knew I was shy, but he wanted everyone to know we were in love.”
“Not cute. Gross. Big time gross.”
“So what did you do?”
“I told him he was a moron. What do you think? I said I wasn’t in love with him. But then he got really annoying. He said that I was just saying that because I was shy.”
“You aren’t shy.”
“That is what I said. I said I wasn’t shy and he was an idiot and then he pulls out this.”
Barkus handed Marticus the letter.
Marticus started to read alound: “My Darling Scotty, I have been shy about telling you this at school but I just had to write it down so you would know. You don’t really have to get me lunch , you know. I mean its fine and I like it and all, but…”
Marticus stopped. “What is this?
“A letter Scotty found in his locker.”
Marticus continued, “I mean I really like you a lot. I am shy about showing it at school but I really think your sweet. Why on earth did you write this?”
“I did not write it.”
“Nee-Nee? Nee-Nee wrote this and signed your name?”
“I am going to have to kill her.”
“She got you pretty good.”
“I am going to have to kill her. Just wait until she sees what I have got in store for her.”
“I need your help.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Marticus, you are going to love this…”