Shenanigans

Photo by Cristian on Unsplash

Shenanigans

By

Josef Granot

1965

“Max- shh! Do you want to wake the whole neighborhood up?!”

“Shut up, it’s not like it wasn’t your idea to go through those.”

“Just tone it down, will you?”

Maxwell and Joe were both fourteen, the latter decided to conduct a ‘search party’ throughout his family’s old basement. The two boys were rummaging through old junk, recalling fond memories from their past and hurling fun facts about the artifacts they would find into the dampened basement air.

“Your grandpa sure left behind some weird stuff,” Maxwell exclaimed, holding up a skewed-looking, rusted surgical utensil in the pale moonlight. Joe had seen it before but never bothered to research what it was. He figured it had something to do with surgery, as his grandfather was a surgeon, albeit not really knowing what sort of surgeon.

Maxwell gasped. 

“Hey, Joe- come check this out.” He cooed, gesturing at his friend to come closer. It soon became apparent that Maxwell had unveiled a trunk- a whole treasure trove of mysteries ready to be unpacked.

“Let me do this…” Joe elbowed his friend away, adjusting himself above the trunk before sliding it open. A musky, rotten stench invaded their nostrils, causing Joe to recoil, they both stood away from the pungent chest.

“What the hell is this?!” Maxwell gagged, waving away the alien odor while circling the trunk. It appeared to be something entrenched deep in the contents of the trunk, the surface is composed mostly of ashy clothes and other antique-looking garments.

“Maxwell, wait…” Joe knelt beside the trunk, shouldering through the stench and parting the pile of clothes that sat at the top. He felt his breath stopping as the next couple of items appeared: a pistol, appearing to be from his grandfather’s time, a book with a dusted red leather cover, and…

“…a foot?!” Joe exclaimed.

Joe pulled away, feeling his gag reflex lock in his dry throat, sweat running down his brow as the ungodly sight emerged in front of him. It was a severed foot, sitting just below the pistol and the book. 

“What the fuck?” Maxwell said. Then he smiled and laughed.

Joe and Maxwell retrieved the two cleaner objects, picking them up and inspecting them while keeping their distance from the foot- 

“This is a pistol from when my grandfather was in the war,” Joe concluded, remembering his father’s lectures about the family’s history.

“A book. Mein Kampf.” Maxwell turned the front to him, the golden German letters indicating that he was indeed correct. 

“Who’s the author?” Joe asked.

“Adolf Hitler.” Maxwell returned. 

“Why would my grandfather have all of this? It’s kinda weird right?” Joe said. Maxwell tossed the book back in the trunk repulsed. 

“All of this would’ve been so much better if it wasn’t for that foot…” Joe sighed, glazing his eyes over the strange sight. 

“It would be kind of funny if we did something with it though.” Maxwell giggled, “Like, we could prank someone with it. Let’s just get a pair of gloves and we won’t have to even touch it.”

“Who on earth would you use this on? There’s no way you hate anyone that much?”

“Oh no, I actually thought of showing it to Lucina,” Maxwell said.

Joe looked at Maxwell. 

“Dude, there’s no way you’re serious. She’s- she’ll never like you or me if we pull something like this!” Joe protested, throwing his arms up.

“But she will literally never forget us, come on dude!” Maxwell knelt next to him, slapping his shoulder, “Girls dig daring guys. She’ll totally fall for it, she’ll see how bold we are and go nuts!”

Joe stood up, scratching his chin as he loomed over the foot. 

“I don’t know…” He said 

“You heard what happened over at Lucina’s place?” 

“What, did she lose her dog again?” 

“Nah, it’s something totally different this time. These two boys… Joe, and Maxwell too… you know, they’re from our grade. Apparently, they hung a foot on her front patio! It was hanging from one of the wind chimes.”

“For real?! Why would they do that? That’s so mean…”

“You think I know? It had something to do with ‘impressing’ her, that’s what Maxwell told his friends the day after. Apparently, they got away scot-free, and Lucina doesn’t want to report it to the police despite her whole family freaking out over it!”

“That’s so messed up…”

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